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World Bank, govt to tap into apparel sector

The government has tied up with World Bank to look at opportunities in the state’s apparel sector, untapped till now.

A meeting was convened in the last week of April between senior industries department officials and the World Bank team to discuss the potentialities in the sector.

It was decided that the World Bank would present an initial report before the government. If approved, work on a detailed report would start based on which the government would prepare a policy and roadmap necessary for the sector’s development.

In a talk with The Telegraph, Shailesh Thakur, director, industries, said the team would look at the opportunities in the sector and put an initial report before the government in a couple of months.

“A team of the World Bank had come to Patna and met the department officials on April 29. It wanted to focus on the apparel sector in the state and the government would coordinate with them in this connection. The government believes there is potential for this industry to strive and the help from the World Bank would be helpful. Initial discussions have taken place and more will follow,” he said.

At present, Bihar has very few textile units. An industrialist even said: “In Gaya, there is a handloom industry but apart from that, the apparel or textile industry is almost absent in Bihar. However, opportunities are definitely there, as a market for the industry and raw materials could be easily available. The industrialists just need a push and incentives to enter the sector.”

The department officials said the World Bank team would be ready with the initial report on opportunities in the apparel sector within two months.

“The government wants to develop the sector and are taking necessary steps for it. Though more details cannot be shared right now, the team would prepare the initial report in two months’ time. This would focus on the opportunities — the potentialities and the road ahead for the sector. Once submitted to the state government and if approved, the team would work on a more detailed report. The government’s decisions and actions on developing the sector would be based on this report,” the industries director said.

Sources said the detailed report would work as a framework for the government to prepare a policy and roadmap for the apparel sector.

“For the development of any sector, there needs to be a policy and a roadmap first. For instance, the state has a policy for the food processing sector. The manufacturing sector, which includes the apparel industry, does not have one but there have been discussions for the same. The apparel industry would have a separate policy too, as the government wants sub-sectors to have their own policies. The final report of the World Bank would be the base from which the government would prepare the roadmap and a policy for the apparel sector in Bihar. The policy, once formed, is expected to have several sops, which in turn is expected to attract investors and local industrialists,” said another official in the department.