The Indian government has finally released funds to set up 21 new textile parks - more than two years after it first approved the scheme.

The parks were originally sanctioned under its 11th five-year plan, but will now fall into the 12th plan which runs from 2012-17. A total investment of INR8.19bn (US$149.5m) is expected.

The parks were initially given the go-ahead in October 2010, but a government statement today (9 November) said: "The process of release took longer than anticipated and therefore funds available in the 11th Plan could not be utilised."

It added: "With the increasing costs of production in the established clusters and highlighted emphasis on environmental compliances, there is a growing need for establishment of such green field textile parks."

Of the new textile parks, six will be in Maharashtra, four in Rajasthan, two each in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and one each in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal. Production will include apparel, hosiery, silk, processing, and technical textiles.