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India's textile ministry demands sops

The textile ministry in India has demanded sops for yarn and fabric sectors, which it says were ignored in the five-year foreign trade policy announced early this month. It has also made a case for inclusion of garments in the interest subvention scheme being finalised by the commerce ministry to help the sector compete with Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which get favourable access to developed markets.

Man-made fiber yarn as well as woven and knitted fabrics, in addition to garments, have been extended a two per cent incentive (in the form of fully transferable duty scrips) in the EU, the US, Canada and Japan.

However, sops in these markets do not help yarn and fabric producers as they export very little to these markets. The Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme (MEIS), however, ignores markets such as China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam and South Korea, which are major destinations for yarn and fabric from India.

By excluding key markets, the policy has virtually ignored fabric and yarn producers, who also need support in the shrinking world market. The textiles ministry is also trying to persuade the commerce ministry to include garments and other sectors in the new interest subvention scheme being finalised by it. Under the scheme, exporters from select sectors will get credit at a three per cent subsidy for the next three years.