Industry leaders of Indian textile and apparel industry recently held a meeting with Minister of Textiles Piyush Goyal in Delhi where a number of questions were raised.
The Minister suggested that industry should support and hand hold each other; however, he has assured to solve their issues on priority. He also said that work is in progress with regard to increasing the interest equalisation scheme and coverage under ECGC.
Harish Ahuja, MD, Shahi Exports thanked the government for the ROSCTL and RODEP schemes and acknowledged that this would make textile exports competitive and be a great support for growth to the industry. He shared that for the Indian apparel industry to grow at a rate similar to the industry in Vietnam or Bangladesh, profitability needs to be improved to encourage entrepreneurship since apparel exports have very thin margins. The Government should consider adjusting the value of the rupee to counter the inflation and make the textile industry competitive. Despite 6% inflation, the Rupee continues to strengthen and it makes exports more expensive and imports cheaper.
Wages count for 30% of the manufacturing cost and are increased every year by 12% to make up for the inflation. This amounts to a 3-4% increase in manufacturing costs. This increase in cost is not compensated by brands through higher prices since inflation is close to 0 in their target nations.
Rajinder Gupta, Chairman, Trident Group and Balkrishan Goenka, Chairman, Welspun Group highlighted the issue of cotton yarn availability. In fact, high cotton yarn price, shortage of containers and focus on sustainability were the issues raised by many stalwarts.
Anil Rajvanshi, Senior Executive Vice President & Head Corporate & Industry Affairs, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) highlighted that to increase export India has to enhance its polyester base in a big way and entire chain needs to be developed in this regard.
Gautam Nair, MD, Matrix Clothing insisted that there should be a system of raw material security for apparel exporters. He also underlined that State and Central Government should work in tandem.
HKL Magu, MD, Jyoti Apparels and Ex-President, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) insisted to ensure custom clearance 24×7 and 365 days.
Neeraj Jain, JMD, Vardhman Textiles raised the issue of smooth and swift supply of goods from India to Bangladesh. The Minister also assured that discussion is going on in this regard especially keeping the Petrapole port in view. Besides, Neeraj urged to involve Ministry of Agriculture to improve the quality of Indian cotton.
HK Agarwal, Business Head & Chief Manufacturing Officer, Pulp & Fibre, Grasim Industries (Aditya Birla Group) said India should promote its textile as it has successfully promoted tourism industry.
T. Rajkumar, Chairman of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) raised the issue of The Technology Mission on Cotton, while Manoj Kumar Patodia, Chairman, The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) insisted that there should be a system wherein India should not send back an empty container.
The Minister highlighted that soon he will he having a meeting with shipping lines. Ravi Poddar, Past President of Garment Exporters Association of Rajasthan (GEAR) asked to promote retail export from India.
Other suggestions made by the stalwarts, regarding speedy implementation of the policies, included NIFT in industry-based research, focus on machine manufacturing in India and liberalisation of policies regarding SEZ.