India’s textiles exports dropped by 13 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs 9,704 crore in January following a sharp fall in cotton textile exports. Cumulative exports of textile and apparel products dropped by 4 per cent y-o-y to Rs 1.87 lakh crore in April-January 2018. Data from the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) recorded, while cotton textile exports fell by 1 per cent y-o-y to Rs 53,818 crore during the above period, apparel exports dropped by 5 per cent y-o-y to Rs 88,709 crore.
Sanjay Jain, chairman, CITI says, “The share of textile and apparel exports (overall exports) has also declined from 14 to 12 per cent in January 2018 as compared to the corresponding period the previous year. “One of the key factors for decline in exports is embedded duties, which are more than 5 per cent and the same is not getting refunded at any stage.” The slide in exports comes at a time when there has been a rise in imports of textile products post GST. Import of textile yarn, fabric and made-ups has increased by 15 per cent y-o-y to Rs 9,914 crore during April-January 2018.
“This is posing a big threat to the Indian textile industry as post-GST the effective import duties have come down sharply, thus, making imports cheaper for the domestic industry by 15 - 20 per cent,” Jain added. He requested the government to provide export incentives for cotton yarn as it is the most vulnerable sector. Cotton yarn exports dropped over 26 per cent between 2013-14 and 2016-17 in spite of the textile industry adding over 3 million spindles and 62,000 rotors in spinning capacity during the period under review. Jain noted that the country can retain its competitiveness in the international markets by including cotton yarn under the merchandise exports from India scheme (MEIS ) and providing RoSL for fabric and cotton yarn.