The National Committee on Textiles & Clothing (NCTC) has appealed to Parliamentary Standing Committee to facilitate global competitiveness for man-made fibre (MMF).
The NCTC comprises many export promotion councils (EPCs) and trade bodies of textile and apparel industry.
Its representatives, who are the stalwarts of textile industry, recently held a meeting with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour.
The committee chaired by Bhartruhari Mahtab, including Members of Parliament, Subbarayan (Tirupur) and Shanmugam (Rajya Sabha) visited Coimbatore and Tirupur to study the potential for the growth of MMF textile industry in Tamil Nadu.
Many senior officials were also present in the meeting. T. Rajkumar, Coordinator, NCTC and Dr. A. Sakthivel, Chairman, AEPC, informed the Committee that Tamil Nadu being the largest textile manufacturing state accounting for 1/3rd of the textile business of the nation, housed with excellent infrastructure and eco system for innovation and manufacturing of high value-added MMF textiles, there is a tremendous potential for attracting new investments including FDI/JVs and creating new jobs for several lakhs of people.
It is pertinent to mention here that as India, particularly Tamil Nadu, has reached saturation in manufacturing of cotton textiles and apparel products, there is a tremendous scope for India to grab the opportunities thrown by China especially in the post-COVID-19 scenario, if a conducive policy is announced for MMF textiles and clothing products by facilitating a level playing field in the globalised environment.
NCTC stated that the anti-dumping duty and customs duty protection given for the domestic manufacturers and 18 per cent GST on MMF and 12 per cent GST on MMF yarn have been curtailing the growth of the MMF sector in India.
India could not import even speciality fibres that are not manufactured in the country under nil duty. These MMF raw materials are produced by very few manufacturers. Cotton produced by over 6 million farmers does not attract any duty and is made available cheaper than the international price, while MMF is expensive up to 23 per cent.
NCTC has appealed to the Committee to recommend removing anti-dumping duty and also slotting the entire MMF value chain under 5 per cent GST rate on par with cotton value chain apart from addressing inverted duty structure issues at processing and capital goods.
On the other hand, since the new labour codes would be implemented shortly, NCTC has sought certain amendments in the new codes to ensure ease of doing business. Fixing uniform minimum wages across the country for all trades/job roles is essential to create a level playing field. There is a huge variation in the rates of minimum wages between states and also between trades/job roles within the state.
NCTC also appealed to advise State Governments to avoid applying Juvenile Justice Act that defines the child labour as 18 years below while Factories Act permits employment of adolescent workers aged between 16 and 18 subject to certain conditions.