By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, Mar 21 (IANS): The Centre has decided to move the 80-year-old office of Textile Commissioner, along with other key officers from Mumbai to New Delhi, by April 5, as per an official order.
This is the second major department after the autonomous 'Dattopant Thengadi National Board for Workers Education & Development (DTNBWED)', which was shifted from Nagpur to New Delhi in 2021.
The latest measure has sparked a fresh furore among the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders who slammed the BJP government for the decision.
As per an order from Jayashree Sivakumar, Under Secretary, Ministry of Textiles to Textile Commissioner Mumbai Roop Rashi, the move is part of measures to "restructure the office of Textile Commissioner and Textile Committee in order to enhance effectiveness and achieve optimal use of resources".
For this, the Textile Commissioner and few key officials would be relocated to the MoT to strengthen the technical arm of the ministry, deploy/depute officers/staff from the head office to the TC and field offices.
Besides the Textile Commissioner, a Joint Textile Commissioner, two Deputy Secretaries (Director rank) and two Deputy Director level officers would be going to New Delhi as part of the restructure/merger exercise.
While the Textile Commissioner will not be stationed in the MoT, the other officers shall be seated at the Noida regional office.
The Textile Commissioner is a critical appointee, functioning as the principal technical advisor to the MoT, conducts techno-economic surveys, advises the government on the overall status of the textiles sector, with regional offices in Navi Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Indore, Amritsar, Coimbatore and NOIDA.
Managing Partner Purushottam Sarda of Vinayak Process, a textile unit in Sangli, the shift could jeopardise subsidies worth hundreds of crores of rupees are pending for past three years from the Centre to thousands of textile units handlooms, powerlooms, auto-looms like Airjet. Waterjet, Sulzer, Rapier -- in the state.
"After the Textile Commissionerate shifts to New Delhi, we shall face huge problems of recovery, and will be forced to make multiple trips which will further add to losses," Sarda told IANS.
Slamming the move, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said this is part of the BJP's strategy to take away all offices from Mumbai/Maharashtra to Delhi or Gujarat, though this state is a major hub of the textile industry with units in Mumbai, Thane, and Ichalkaranji of Kolhapur. called the 'Manchester of the east'.
Congress chief spokesperson Atul Londhe said that since "they cannot shift Mumbai to Gujarat, the BJP is destroying all important offices/departments by taking them away from Maharashtra to either Delhi or Gujarat", which is detrimental to the people of this state.
Nationalist Congress Party national spokesperson Clyde Crasto said the decision is "hardly surprising" but warned that the people of Maharashtra are watching and they will remember it in the elections.
"The BJP at the Centre is hellbent on putting brakes on Maharashtra's progress. Ever since the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government took over, all major projects/institutions/departments are being taken away from Mumbai or the state," said Crasto.
Shiv Sena (UBT)'s national spokesperson Kishore Tiwari wondered why aceall the BJP union ministers from the state and the "ED government here are maintaining a deafening silence, as usual", and named Nitin Gadkari, Narayan Rane, Piyush Goyal, Raosaheb Patil-Danve, Bharati Pawar, Kapil Patil and Bhagwat Karad, besides Ramdas Athawale.
"Either they lack the courage to speak up for the Marathi people here or they are obviously hand-in-glove with the Centre to ensure the destruction of their own home-state," said Tiwari.
The Textile Commissionerate here was set up in 1943 at the height of World War II to satisfy the huge British demand for clothing of its armed forces and civilians, and the industry developed in a big way post-Independence.