New Delhi: Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on Friday asserted that India would become "completely self-sufficient" in silk in the next two years.
"We are now, in the next two years, going to become completely self-sufficient in silk. In terms of production of silk, we are the second after China," she said at a programme organized by business chamber FICCI.
Noting that technical textiles is the future of textiles, the Minister said it is an area which she is extremely keen on supporting and taking forward.
Giving an example, the Minister said people presume that jute is only used for gunny bags, but it is scientifically proven that if it is used in construction of roads, the life of the road goes up by five years.
"For instance, if you are in the hilly areas for containing land slides, for the same you can use textiles. I think the technical textiles are the future of textiles. But in country which has brilliant handcraft legacy, we also are in a position to find new packaging avenues for our old crafts, new marketing modules and new markets."
With a nation which is totally concentrated on building of 100 smart cities and better roads, Irani emphasized on marketing of textiles which, she said, is the legacy of the country.
Referring to gaps in marketing avenues, the Minister said everybody who possibly goes to New York is told that the best bedsheets you could buy are of Egyptian cotton.
"But, the Indian farmer produces a cotton called Shankar which is a better quality of cotton then Egyptian cotton.
"...So its also about finding your marketing avenues for the raw material that we have in our country, the other larger producer of cotton and jute. Till you don't realize your strengths, you cannot have more people interested in that avenue of industry."
The Minister said when the agenda is pushed in terms of international marketing, then they will see a lot of Indian interests as well.
Irani said that textiles are even used by the Indian Space Research Organisation as its shuttle programme uses a carbon-based textile from one of their establishments in Ahmedabad.