India's spindleage is expected to touch the 40 million mark by end of the year, the Hindu Business line reported. This will enable the textile industry to lift its spun yarn production to 3,400 million kg at 85 per cent capacity utilisation, said Sanjeev Saran, vice-chairman, Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC).

With cotton production remaining more or less stagnant and man-made fibre production surging, non-cotton spun/blended yarn is likely match cotton production levels very soon, he added.

In a paper called "'WTO and its implications on Indian textile industry", presented at a recent meeting of the textile producers in Tamil Nadu, Mr Saran pointed out that while raw cotton production increased from 170.20 lakh bales in 1995-96 to 175 lakh bales in 1999-2000, showing a growth rate of 2.8 per cent, the man-made fibre production rose from 498 million kg to 848 million kg during the same period, at an impressive 70 per cent growth.

The domestic production of synthetic and rayon textile items comprising basic raw material, fibre and yarn had been steadily increasing and this sector had been showing an average annual compounded growth rate of 29 per cent, Mr Saran said.