The Indian government has released subsidies worth INR25.46bn (US$532.5m) to textile firms under a scheme designed to help them upgrade their technology.

Textile minister Dayanidhi Maran said today (6 August) that this is the first time that such a large subsidy has been released in a single tranche.

The money is part of the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), which provides preferential loans to help companies invest in new technology.

It will be credited to beneficiaries' bank accounts within three working days, and clears the backlog of subsidy payments to 30 June.

Maran also said a committee has been set up to devise a national fibre policy, and will submit its recommendations in three months.

The Indian government last month lifted the TUFS fund from INR10.9bn to INR31.4bn, as part of the country's budget.

But industry groups say the fund should be raised even higher to INR45.0bn.