The absence of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the EU, Australia and Canada costs India almost 55 lakh jobs in the apparel & textile sector. Additional exports would have generated these jobs if FTAs had been in place.
This is a major finding of study by Ernst & Young. The study was commissioned by the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil), which released the report titled “Textile Industry as a Vehicle of Job Creation for Inclusive Growth” in Mumbai on Monday.
The report also highlighted the size and employment generating capacity of the textile industry. It underlined similarities in process in the home textile and the garmenting sector and pointed out that home textiles is also labour intensive and helps in the social uplift, thereby impacting poorer segments and other lower strata of society.
Texprocil chairman R. K. Dalmia who released the report, said there were three objectives in undertaking the study. First, to map the top 20 textile products in demand in major importing countries in comparison to what India is supplying to these markets and thereby analyze reasons for mismatch in demand and supply, if any, and chalk out suitable corrective action to be taken up by the industry.
He also reiterated the importance of finalisation of FTAs with EU, Australia and Canada in addition to negotiation of concessional tariff with China to highlight the impact of business being lost to other competing countries owing to tariff disadvantage faced by the Indian suppliers.
Thirdly, he said that this study was done to clearly bring out the employment potential of the textile sector, especially in rural India by developing non-migratory models of manufacturing like the ‘hub–and-spoke’ model being popularised in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar.
“This study was done by conducting primary research in various production centres and also by one-to-one meetings with manufacturers and exporters of fabric and home textiles in small, medium and large scale sectors,” Dalmia added.