Surat Textile exporters Ends Business with Pakistan

Surat Textile Exporters Ends Business with Pakistan

India’s largest hub for man-made fabric, Surat Textile Exporters has stopped exports of fabrics to the neighbouring country Pakistan after the recent attack. In the aftermath of a dishonourable attack by a terrorist of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on a CRPF convoy in Jammu & Kashmir’s Pulwama district recently. Over 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in the attack by the terrorist of the Pakistan-based organization.

Two biggest fabric markets in Pakistan- Azam cloth market in Lahore and Lucknow market in Karachi- depend on polyester fabrics, saris, lenghas and dupattas imported from Surat. Many shops in these markets have signboards that say they sell saris and dress material imported from Surat.

Devkishan Manghani, chairman, Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SGCCI) textile committee said, “A delegation from Surat had visited Azam and Lucknow markets in Karachi and Lahore last year. Majority of traders import cheap saris, lenghas and other fabrics from Surat and sell them after value addition. Small traders, there will be finished if our exporters don’t supply raw material to them.”

Even foreign companies dealing with textile companies in Surat have taken a tough stand against Pakistan after the terror attack in Pulwama. Laxmipati Group managing director Sanjay Saraogi said, “Our company uses fibre manufactured by an American company. This American company supplies the fabric manufactured by us to Pakistan and they had a sales office there. We told our American counterparts to stop the fabric supply to Pakistan or else we will not use their fibre after Pulwama attack. The American company shut down its Pakistan sales office two days ago.”

Gondalia Textile Exports owner Lucky Gondalia said, “After the dastardly attack on our soldiers in Pulwama, we have severed business links with Pakistani traders. Earlier, we used to export saris, dress material, lenghas, bemberges and bleach fabrics to the tune of over Rs4 crore per annum to them.”

Sudarshan Textile Private Limited owner Srikant Mundra said, “We can’t sell dresses to women of Pakistan many of whose husbands, brothers and relatives are killing our soldiers and civilians. Two days ago, we winded up our Karachi office. Earlier, we were supplying more than Rs10 crore worth of textile fabrics to Lahore and Karachi.”

However, latest figures of Synthetic and Rayon Textile Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC) suggest that exports between Surat and Pakistan have fallen sharply in the last couple of years and that they were less than Rs 1,000 crore per annum now.

The data presented by SRTEPC says exports of MMF fabrics in 2016-17 stood at Rs887 crore and Rs958 crore in 2017-18. Exports of MMF fabrics in 2018-19 (till December 2018) have witnessed a sharp fall at Rs 624 crore against Rs 720 crore during the same period in the previous year.

Narain Aggarwal, chairman, SRTEPC said, “Textile trade between Pakistan and India, Surat, in particular, has come to an end after Pulwama terror attack. India’s textile sector stands firmly behind our martyred soldiers. We believe no Indian textile businessman should deal with Pakistan.”

– Apparel and Textile News, Apparel Talk, Indian Apparel