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India doubles import duty on textile products

India has doubled the import duty on textile products including carpets, woven fabric, jackets and baby garments. Duties have been hiked from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. This is a move to provide relief to garment and carpet manufacturers who were under immense pressure post GST.

On some items, the rate would be 20 per cent or Rs 38 per meter, whichever is higher. The ad-valorem rate of duty for certain items is also raised. However, imports from less developed countries will remain duty-free, including Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the largest supplier of most of the goods on which duties are doubled.

The textile industry in Bangladesh has been structurally developed to manufacture value added textile products, due to lack of raw materials, for which it relies on imports from surplus countries like India and USA.

So it is imperative that the Indian textile industry move up the value chain and take the advantage of ample availability of cheaper raw materials. If raw material from India can go to Bangladesh, only to be converted into value added products and brought back to India, the Indian textile industry can restructure and produce high value products. China is already moving up the value chain and moving low value production outside the country.