New Approach To Boost Textile Exports

New Approach To Boost Textile Exports

The textile and the commerce ministries are now formulating new strategies to boost exports in the textile and clothing sector as it is the largest employment provider after agriculture, accounting for some 45 million jobs, according to official sources.

The centre is seeking to make it more attractive for exporters to tap markets with immense potential for outbound shipments of textile and clothing items, notably Africa, to widen the geographical spread of the export market and reduce dependence on the developed world — mainly the US and the EU.

The need to tap new markets has also arisen more than ever, as China’s economy is set for a prolonged slowdown and the developed world is still struggling with a fragile recovery.

The textile secretary Sanjay Kumar Panda said that to promote textile exports in new markets, the government has raised support to outbound shipments of more textile products under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS). Most of the textile and garment items, which were earlier not availing much of a benefit, are now granted three per cent duty credit scrip under the MEIS to tap markets such as those in Africa.

Recently, the government introduced 110 new tariff lines, included textile in the MEIS and increased the duty benefit rates or the country coverage, or both, for 2228 existing tariff lines. The commerce ministry’s move to partially tweak the MEIS came after the finance ministry had agreed to raise the allocation for the scheme to Rs 21,000 crore for the current fiscal from Rs 18,000 crore announced earlier.

The textile ministry plans to further intensify focus on segments like handicrafts that have witnessed good growth in exports and have immense employment potential.

China is the biggest market for textiles, accounting for over 70 per cent of India’s cotton and 40 per cent of yarn supplies, the US and the EU are the largest markets for Indian apparel, and making up for roughly 65 per cent of garment exports.