State Textile ministers discuss joint steps to boost handloom and handicraft sectors
A meeting of State Textiles Ministers was held on 26th April, 2018 in New Delhi for taking comprehensive view on the schemes of Government of India for handloom and handicraft sectors. Minister of Textiles and Information & Broadcasting Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani presided over the meeting with Minister of State for Textiles Mr Ajay Tamta and Secretary Textiles, Mr Anant Kumar Singh.
Secretary, Textiles, initiated the meeting by highlighting the crucial role of State Governments in identification of weavers and artisans and their active participation in implementation of the Government of India schemes. A detailed presentation on schemes of Government of India for development of Handloom and Handicraft sectors was made by the concerned Development Commissioners.
Union Minister for Textiles and Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani presiding over the Meeting of the State Textiles Ministers, in New Delhi
Speaking on this occasion, the Minister of Textiles and Information & Broadcasting reiterated the belief in cooperative federalism and appealed to State Ministers and representatives to play a pivotal role in decision making for the growth of the textiles sector. Underlining the need for all-round development of weavers and artisans, the Minister requested officials at the Centre and the States to ensure that the benefits of all Government of India schemes, like Ujjwala Yojana, Swachhta Abhiyan, reach the beneficiaries along with Textiles Ministry initiatives. She said that India Handloom Brand launched by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is a bridge between weavers, manufacturers and consumers, ensuring increased earnings for weavers and quality products for consumers. The Minister urged everyone present at the meeting to encourage stakeholders to register their products with India Handloom Brand. She also requested State Ministers to set targets and regularly review activities at Handloom and Handicraft clusters. She emphasized the need for educating weavers and artisans and their families by encouraging them to enroll with NIOS and IGNOU through initiatives taken by the Ministry of Textiles.
State Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were present at the meeting along with senior officials of the Ministry of Textiles and Development Commissioners for Handloom and Handicrafts.
Samarth- scheme for capacity building in textile sector stakeholders meet
A meeting of stakeholders on Samarth – scheme for capacity building in textile sector was held in New Delhi to familiarise the stakeholders about the scheme and its guidelines. The meeting was chaired by Union minister of textiles Smriti Irani. The scheme was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on December 20 last year.
The broad objective of the scheme, under the Skill India Mission, is to skill the youth for gainful and sustainable employment in the textile sector covering the entire value chain of textiles, excluding spinning and weaving.
Textiles minister Smriti Irani (Centre) addressing the meeting of stakeholders on Samarth
“The concerns of the stakeholders and challenges faced by them during implementation of the previous scheme were discussed in the meeting. Feedback from the concerned stakeholders on how the scheme can contribute and benefit the textile industry and boost skill development in the respective sector was also discussed,” an official release said.
The scheme is intended to provide demand driven, placement oriented National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) compliant skilling programmes to incentivise and supplement the efforts of the industry in creating jobs in the textiles sector. The scheme targets to train 10 lakh persons (9 lakh in organised and 1 lakh in traditional sector) over a period of 3 years (2017-20), with an outlay of ₹1,300 crore.
The guidelines of the scheme were released on April 23, 2018.
Incentives for exporters being enhanced: TxC
Speaking at an interactive session on policies and facilities for the textile sector at IMC Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner informed that the government has enhanced the incentives for exporters of garments and madeups under MEIS to support the textile exports and the Union budget which raised the special package to Rs. 7148 crores was a step in this direction to generate employment for 10 million people, as this was a labour intensive sector.
Mr Ratan Poddar, Co- Chairman, IMC textiles and Garments committee, Mr Narendra Podar, Chairman, IMC textiles and Garments committee, Dr Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner, Govt. of India, Dr. Lalit Kanodia, President, IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Atul Patne, Secretary ( Textile), Govt. of Maharashtra, Mr Suresh Kotak, Past President, IMC, Mr Rahul Mehta, President, The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India She exhorted the industry to make use of these benefits. Dr. Gupta said the government is working on ways and means to enhance the importance and contribution of the man – made fibres in the industry segment dominated by cotton.
The government has also undertaken the technology upgradation and modernization in all the 108 powerloom clusters in a big manner and an integrated approach in terms of upgrading skills, along with financial benefits is being implemented.
Earlier, speaking of the initiatives of the state government, Mr. Atul Patne, Secretary (Textile), government of Maharashtra, said that the government is strengthening the funding requirements of the sector. Special funds for hosting and participation at the exhibitions are being released and a subsidy regime, based on the stages of processing is being implemented by the state government.
Welcoming the dignitaries,Dr. Lalit Kanodia, President IMC said the chamber is lending full support to the members associated with the textile industry.
ATIRA's develops new tech to upgrade cotton gin processing
The Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association (ATIRA) is in the process of developing a new technology for cotton gins (machines to seperate seed from fibre), which will reduce power consumption the during ginning process by 40%.
ATIRA was given a year-long research and development project, to improve the cotton ginning process by the state government's department of industries and mines.
“The technology currently used is more than 30 years old and needs to be upgraded. The complex machinery currently used have several moving parts. We are making an effort to improve the process by reducing the number of moving parts in ginning machinery. This will help reduce power consumption by around 40%,” said R M Sankar, principal scientific officer, ATIRA.
Researchers at ATIRA aim at completing the project in 10 months. This technology upgrade will help make maintenance easier and increase production, according to the scientists.
“As we are trying to reduce the number of moving parts, the consumption of spare parts will also be reduced. Therefore, maintenance costs will also come down by a significant 40%,” said Sankar. Currently, production speed is around 70kg per hour, according to the researchers. This will increase by an 28% to around 90kg per hour, ATIRA officials said.
Apparel package led to additional investments, job creation: Survey
The Rs 6,000-crore special package announced in 2016 for the textiles and apparel sector generated extra investment of around Rs 2,500 crore and additional employment of around 1 lakh in the first twelve months of its rollout, a report said today.
The findings of the survey conducted by the Apparel Export Promotin Council (AEPC) also suggested that Remission of State Levies (RoSL) had a positive impact on the garment industry.
“After the implementation of the RoSL in September, 2016, India's readymade garment (RMG) exports increased by 2.7 per cent in value terms and grown by 6.4 per cent in volume terms,"AEPC said "The Special Package for textiles has not only boosted exports but has also helped in increasing the investments," it added.
"RoSL has been a well thought out scheme, which had a positive impact on the garment industry. There is direct correlation between release of RoSL to exporters vis-a-vis increase of India's RMG exports.
"Though demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll out has temporarily slowed down the industry, the positive impact of RoSL is expected to bring results in 2018-19, as the industry settles down, post GST roll out," HKL Magu, Chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) said.
FOSTTA blames GST for fall in Surat textile traders' sales
The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has led to a drop of 30-40 per cent in the textile sales in Surat, according to the Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA). The association claims that the new tax regime has led to a loss of 4 lakh jobs, while daily production has decreased from 4 crore metres to 2.5 crore metres.
A number of textile units in Surat are running below their respective capacities and traders are facing payment delays in the aftermath of GST rollout. GST and demonetisation have affected the textile trade in Surat, resulting in a 40 per cent decrease in production, said media reports quoting Champalal Bothra, secretary, FOSTTA.
The textile industry of Surat employs about 1.3 million workers, but 30-50 per cent of the employees have lost their jobs after demonetisation and GST. The association said that textile and related industries like embroidery, power looms and artisans are losing jobs.
FOSTTA has also written to Union textile minister Smriti Irani, informing her about the situation in Surat and requesting government's support and intervention.
A majority of the textile and other related units in Surat are unorganised and are thus facing problems in implementing the structure of the new tax regime. This is leading to a decline in production as well as demand. Artisans skilled in embroidery are losing their jobs, while textile labourers are returning to their home states due to lack of work, said Manoj Agarwal, president. FOSTTA.
Exports have also been affected due to GST. Multiple export orders have been cancelled as refund was not received on time, and payment delays have led to a shortage in working capital. The association estimates that exports have declined 60 per cent after GST implementation.
Strengthen Indian textile eco-system to boost exports-Report
Labour laws in India need to be relaxed along with enhancing incentives in order to become a preferred sourcing destination for textile products, says a recent report. India is not perceived as a low-cost labour destination and its incentives are not on par with that of China, resulting in Indian products not being price competitive, the report adds.
Labour laws in the textile industry in India are outdated, thus hampering the country from becoming labour competitive, says a report formulated by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), commissioned by the ministry of textiles.
The textile sector of India also needs to innovate to come up with new products, business models and collaborations. The study adds that there is a need to digitise the entire supply chain, and comply with quality and legal issues. Encouraging product and market diversification for different textile and apparel products, and clearly positioning Indian textiles in the markets abroad can be of help, as per the IIFT.
Lack of connectivity and poor roads leading to weaver hubs is the reason for dependence on buying agents as the conditions make it difficult for buyers to make personal visits, said media reports quoting the study.
It also notes that importing latest machinery is a costly affair due to taxes like basic duty, countervailing duty (CVD) and special CVD along with landing charges and additional cess. Thus, small manufacturers avoid upgrading and compromise on quality. On the contrary, countries like China Vietnam and Bangladesh encourage the use of latest technologies and levy very less duty on machinery.
The study also suggests offering higher wages to carpet weavers by increasing the designer-weaver-buyer connect, as the sector is facing a threat of depletion of skills due to low per day wage rate. Younger generation is not getting into the field as it is financially unviable. Vocational courses in carpet weaving are also suggested to safeguard the skill of weaving Indian handmade carpets.
Most weavers, designers and others have poor knowledge about the international quality compliances, therefore regular training must be imparted to make them quality conscious. The report further added that it is important to focus on promoting niche areas covering indigenous weavers, artisans and craftsman to maintain a unique identity.
Chemicals, Dyes producers define principles and expectations from ZDHC Foundation
A group of nine sustainably oriented textile dye and chemical producers has issued an open letter to the Stichting ZDHC Foundation defining some principles and expectations that require clarification/commitment in order to officially contribute to the ZDHC Foundation. The signatory companies will review the progress made by ZDHC after a 12-month period.
Under the banner of Evoxess GmbH, the nine signatory companies, viz Archroma, Colourtex, DyStar, Huntsman, Jay Chemical, Protex, Pulcra, Rudolf and Tanatex, have consulted on the issues of the increasing complexity and resultant cost burdens for the textile value chain, which are proving an obstacle to the overall goals of the elimination of hazardous chemistry from within the textile supply chain, the letter said.
“The signatories recognise that the ZDHC Foundation is the most appropriate platform for the industry to progress towards a more harmonised approach. However, before the companies can become Value Chain Affiliates of the ZDHC a number of concerns need to be addressed,” the letter added.
“It is our intention to work towards a greater harmonisation of an industry standard and challenge the proliferation of standards and approaches which the industry is now facing which, through complexity, duplication, and misunderstanding, hinder the elimination of hazardous chemicals from within the supply chain.
“It is our intention that the ZDHC Foundation give more recognition to those industry players who continue to demonstrate competence and a serious commitment to the sustainability agenda, thus giving further motivation for the industry to improve,” the letter stated.
“The signatories recognize that the bluesign system, the most “holistic” approach of current systems being based upon input stream management in combination with chemical manufacturing competence auditing, is the preferred industry platform to assess consistent compliance of a branded commercial dye/chemical formulation to a standard. This gives the highest degree of confidence to the textile value chain stakeholders. The signatories also recognize that the ZDHC Foundation is the most appropriate platform for the industry to progress towards a more harmonized approach. However, before the companies can become Value Chain Affiliates of the ZDHC a number of concerns need to be addressed”, the letter stated.
The signatories confirmed their willingness to actively engage with the ZDHC Foundation, in particular with the ZDHC Gateway Chemical Module and also as a ZDHC Contributor. However, they would do so on the basis that their expectations regarding accelerating the industry towards the elimination of hazardous chemistry within the textile value chain are fulfilled.
As of September 1, the signatories would join on a trial basis for a period of 12 months. At the end of the trial period, the companies will review the progress made by ZDHC towards driving the necessary change and harmonisation of the industry towards the objective of 'zero discharge of hazardous chemicals'. “If we are satisfied with the progress, we will further commit to a long-term partnership,” they said.
ZDHC releases electronic version of ZDHC MRSL
To drive implementation and ease usability, the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme has released the electronic version of the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL) – the ZDHC e-MRSL. The ZDHC MRSL lists chemical substances that should be banned from intentional use by the industry in the production of textile, apparel, leather and footwear.
The ZDHC MRSL applies to chemicals used in facilities that process materials and trim parts for use in the industry. Chemicals in the ZDHC MRSL include solvents, cleaners, adhesives, paints, inks, detergents, dyes, colourants, auxiliaries, coatings and finishing agents used during raw material production, wet-processing, maintenance, wastewater treatment, sanitation and pest control.
The first ZDHC MRSL (version 1.0) was released in 2014, along with Chemical Guidance Sheets and was updated in December 2015 (version 1.1), to include leather. ZDHC MRSL is now available in an electronic format rather than a static PDF document to support the global textile, apparel, leather and footwear industry by improving the use of chemicals in the value chain in an interactive way.
“We are excited to announce the kick-off of our online version of the ZDHC MRSL; it helps implementing the list in the industry and increases the user experience significantly, by providing a much easier search and browse functionality within the framework,” ZDHC executive director Frank Michel said in a media release.
With the ZDHC e-MRSL, users will be able to easily search for chemical substances, either by using the name of the substance or the CAS number. In the future, it will also be possible to filter for different criteria and to translate the tool into multiple languages. At the same time, it would still be possible to download the tool as a PDF file.
“With this new format, it is a lot easier for all parts of the value chain to search for substances that should not intentionally be used in the manufacturing process,” said Scott Echols, ZDHC programme director. “This tool will help us tremendously to support the implementation in facilities and will make it really easy to update the ZDHC MRSL in the future.”
Specialty chemical sector may double market size by FY25: Report
The domestic specialty chemical sector is expected to grow by about 10 per cent annually to almost double the market size by FY25, driven by growth in end-user industries, a report said.
"The Indian chemicals sector is a market worth about USD 160 billion, with specialty chemicals representing about 20 per cent of the value. We expect the specialty chemical sector to grow by about 10 per cent annually to almost double the market size by FY25," India Ratings report on 'FY19 Outlook: Specialty Chemicals' said here.
The specialty chemicals sector registered double-digit growth over FY13-FY17, supported by subdued oil prices and strong domestic and export demand.
Ind-Ra expects FY19 to be a strong year for the domestic specialty chemicals sector on anticipation of a continued increase in demand from end-user industries and tight global supply due to stringent environmental norms in China.
Specialty chemical end-use industries such as textile, automotive, personal care, construction chemicals and agrochemicals, as w ell as application-driven segments such as surfactants, paints, coatings and colorants, to experience high growth in the medium-term.
The governments focus on affordable housing, agriculture and increased expenditure on infrastructure development will further spur demand for performance-enhancing chemicals. Ind-Ra expects strong growth across the key segments of specialty chemicals.
However, per capita chemical consumption in the country remains low compared with that in developed countries and emerging economies such as China, indicating latent demand potential in the Indian market, the report said.
The implementation of strict environmental norms in China has reduced the competitive advantages for Chinese firms, especially inefficient smaller firms that became unviable.
In 2017, an estimated 40 per cent of the chemical manufacturing capacity in China was temporarily shut down for safety inspections, with over 80,000 manufacturing units charged and fined for breaching permissible emission limits.
Ind-Ra expects the supply of major chemicals from China to remain subdued in FY19, favourably impacting volume and pricing for Indian exporters.
Higher-than-expected growth in demand, along with stable feedstock availability at low prices and ability to comply with regulatory norms, may further strengthen operating profile of the sector, according to Ind-Ra.
However, the agency believes that sharp changes in oil prices due to an unfavourable macroeconomic scenario, uncertainty about feedstock procurement and an uptick in global capacity expansion may have a negative impact on the sector.
Cotton goes to space
Cotton will be experimented in space. The cotton sustainability research challenge program sponsored by Target and coordinated by Center for the Advancement of Science in Space has selected a project by Simon Gilroy of University of Wisconsin-Madison as one of its three winners. The project will endeavor to grow cotton on the International Space Station, to acquire more knowledge for growing it back on earth in a sustainable way.
According to Gilroy, the goal is to understand the growth of the root system so that it can be grown more efficiently in scavenge water and sequester more carbon in the soil. Gilroy plans to study the cotton variety that has good drought resistance.
An important and interesting observation will be to find out how zero gravity will affect the root growth that will enable to develop new varieties that use less water.
The other two winning projects are from Upstream Tech in Alameda, California and Clemson University. The United States' cotton industry has been putting lot of efforts towards sustainable growing practices, consuming less energy, chemicals and water during growing and working closely with the textile industry to explore processes that utilize less resources during finishing into consumer garments.
By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
Katie Greenyer, new president of Textile Institute
Katie Greenyer, creative talent and network director at Pentland Brands, has been chosen as the world president of the Textile Institute. Greenyer started her career as a freelance designer working with the likes of Red or Dead, Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood, Benny Ong, Next, Jigsaw, Paul Costello, Dr Martins, French Connection and Ben Sherman.
She received a host of nominations for the position.
Stephanie Dick, CEO of the Textile Institute says: “While Katie's not the first world president we've had from Pentland Brands (Stephen Rubin, chairman, Pentland Group, held the position from 2008-09), she's certainly different from any president we've had before. Her vitality and passion for our industry is exactly what we need, and I have no doubt Katie will be a huge success in helping us to recruit talent into the industry, champion our corporate membership, accreditations and recognise and reward outstanding work in textiles.”
Greenyer says: “The Textile Institute not only offers a solid foundation of industry knowledge and techniques, which is crucial for any budding designer, it provides the opportunity to really push the boundaries of innovation. My role as world president of the Textile Institute is to help universities and the wider industry to see the importance of accreditation and to make sure we're doing the right things - and to have a lot of fun while doing it!”
The Textile Institute was set up in 1910 to promote professionalism in all areas associated with the textile industries and has members from across art, design, economics, education, retail, engineering, fashion, marketing, production, science and sustainability.
Greenyer, who joined Pentland Brands over 20 years ago, when the group acquired Red or Dead, has a unique role as its creative talent and network director. She is the creative lead for their working environments, heads up the central design team and the design pool talent and is a company brand ambassador, leading relationships and research projects with universities.
Graphene-enhanced denims from Directa Plus & Arvind
Directa Plus Plc, a leading producer and supplier of graphene-based products for use in consumer and industrial markets, has entered into an exclusive collaboration agreement with Arvind Limited, India's leading textile-to-retail-and-brands conglomerate, to infuse the high-performance benefits of Directa Plus' G+ graphene-based products into denim fabrics.
Directa's graphene-based products can be used in a variety of ways to alter or enhance the properties of conventional denim fabrics, and to produce 'smart' clothing for different purposes and environments. By incorporating G+ products within fabrics and textiles, end-users benefit from the thermal and electrical conductivity and bacteriostatic properties of G+, such as thermal regulation, heat dissipation, energy harvesting, data transmission and no odour effect.
The pioneer of the denim revolution in India, Arvind Limited's business is built on the pillars of design, innovation, sustainability, and customer centricity. Each year Arvind Denim produces over 100 million metres of fabrics and 6 million pairs of jeans.
Over the years, Arvind has evolved into an IP-led design house with several patented technologies and products to its name. The collaboration with Directa will further enhance its capabilities in innovation and research and accelerate its transformation into a technology-driven company.
“Technology plays a vital yet invisible hand in determining the performance, fashion quotient, and functionality of the denims we develop. The use of graphene in denims is absolutely new and will yield some of the smartest, most widely used fabrics in the years ahead. We are excited about the opportunities it presents, and we want our key customers to be amongst the first to experience and enjoy the advanced, new-age clothing we will create with Directa Plus,” said Aamir Akhtar, CEO – Denims, Arvind Ltd.
“The incorporation of our Graphene Plus will further differentiate Arvind's denims by providing unique features and performance enhancements. Consumers can enjoy these advantages safe in the knowledge that our products are hypoallergenic, non-toxic and sustainably produced. We look forward to working with Arvind to develop technically-advanced denims and further innovations leveraging our Graphene Plus,” said Directa Plus CEO Giulio Cesareo.
Fujitsu announces 5th generation “super-slim” washable RFID linen tags to enable direct insertion into the smallest linens and garments
Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc., a leader in innovative technology and front-end solutions has announced that it has developed new antenna technology to create washable UHF RFID tags 30% to 40% smaller than current tags allowing them to be inserted into the smallest seams of washable items. The new fifth generation “super-slim” washable RFID linen tag is targeted for availability in the fourth quarter of 2018.
“Fujitsu's advanced engineering and antenna technology enables us to create the most state-of-the-art solutions for washable RFID tags in the world. We are listening to our customers who have requested reducing the width of our tags to allow easier insertion into garments and linens,” says Michi Sugawara, President and CEO of Fujitsu Frontech North America. “After extensive design and optimization, we have created the new super-slim linen tag. This new tag demonstrates our commitment to design innovation and will provide greater customer satisfaction by enabling manufacturers to easily integrate our tags in a broader range of products.”
For industrial garment and linen applications, Fujitsu Linens tags are designed for heavy-duty industrial laundries. Like its predecessors, the WT-A533 Linen tag, the new super-slim linen tag has advanced antenna and mechanical design which gives it extra strength and reliability in heavy-duty industrial garment and flat linen laundry applications. Customers will have the ability to perform bulk reading of hundreds, even thousands, of articles simultaneously in seconds with very high reliability and bulk read density. Bulk reading enables streamlined automated processes, significant reductions in labor costs, and improved overall return on investment.
Maharashtra govt forms panel to help textile industry generate solar power
The state government of Maharashtra has formed a panel to help set up solar power plants at cooperative spinning mills and textile units. The committee will be responsible for formulating the criteria for declaring the units that are eligible for subsidy, finalising the details of the subsidy and planning the implementation process among other things.
The committee has to submit its report in the next two months.
The government has decided to give Rs3 per unit power subsidy to spinning mills for a period of 3 years, as per the new textile policy 2018-23 that was approved in February, said regional media reports quoting an official from the Maharashtra textile department. The subsidy is also being given to other textiles projects. These cooperative spinning mills and textile projects are expected to set up other power projects as complementary power sources.
The subsidy will be reviewed every year, said another official. Power tariffs in Maharashtra are higher than that in the other states and this is one of the reason why spinning mills incur losses. Thus, the department is encouraging mills to turn to solar power plants to fulfil their power needs while reducing their bills.
Textile director will be the head of the committee, which also comprise an official from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company and the director general of the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency.
Surat Textile processors to increase job charges
Textile processors in Surat have collectively decided to hike their job charges for processing all types of finished fabrics by Rs 2 per metre due to rising costs of dyes, chemicals, coal and textile workers' wages. The decision was taken during a meeting that was held recently under the guidance of South Gujarat Textile Processors' Association (SGTPA).
Prices of dyes have increased by 25 per cent, while chemical prices have gone up by 15 per cent. Coal prices have soared by Rs1,500 per tonne and a steep increase has also been witnessed in labour charges in the processing sector, said office bearers of SGTPA.
The association is forced to increase job charges due to increasing costs of raw materials and to withstand slowdown in the processing sector, said Jitu Vakharia, SGTPA president. The hike in job charges is likely to increase costs of finished fabrics between 50 paise to Rs 3. He said that the production of man-made fibre (MMF) fabric may pick up pace during the festival season.
The MMF cluster of the city produces close to 2 crore metres of fabrics on a daily basis. The city boasts 6.5 lakh powerloom weaving machines and 3.5 lakh machines of those shut down in the last few months. Surat also has over 400 textile dyeing and printing mills.
The hike in job charges may impact the industry which is already witnessing a tough time, said Ashish Gujarati, president of the Pandesara Weavers Cooperative Society. The powerloom sector is currently working only for 8 hours every day to limit production.
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