The present situation continues to pose many challenges to the textile and clothing sector. The Council’s analysis of data on Textiles & Clothing trade based on the quick estimates by MOC, shows that exports of cotton textiles (Yarn, Fabrics & Made-ups) during the period from April to September 2018 reached US$ 5.7 Billion as compared to US$ 4.8 Billion during April to September 2017 registering a growth rate of 18%.

During this period (April – September 2018), Textile & Clothing sector reached US $ 17.77 Billion as compared to US $ 18.29 Billion and has declined by (-) 3% over the last year period i.e. April – September 2017. While Textiles recorded a growth of 10%, the exports of RMG Clothing during the period April – September 2018 reached US$ 7.7 Billion as compared to US$ 9.1 Billion during April – September 2017 registering a decline of  (-) 16%. The overall decline in trade can thus be attributed to subdued apparel exports from the country.

The positive growth in cotton textiles products is an outcome of the relentless pursuit of our exporters in keeping pace with global opportunities coming their way in the wake of ongoing trade war. Their entrepreneurial talent has helped them devise strategies to diversify products and markets to maintain the demand and supply equilibrium.

Keeping in line with these developments, the Council continued it’s wide ambit of export promotional activities in order to seek additional opportunities for trade in cotton and cotton textiles.

The Council undertook international activities like organizing group participation of its Member companies at ‘Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics’ and ‘Yarn Expo’ trade fairs in China under MAI Scheme of Government of India alongside efforts on the domestic front in organising workshops on ‘Alternate Export Promotion Schemes’ in the Karur and Erode districts of Southern India. Apart from this, the Council also continued making representations to the government on behalf of its members to address the various issues related to GST implementation faced by the textile exporting community. Further, in order to reward the achievers of excellence in exports of cotton textiles products the Council is holding its Annual Export Awards Function on November 3, 2018 in Mumbai.

ITSAF Fair & Yarn Expo China

Considering the ever increasing production costs, including cost of raw material, power, labour cost etc., China is increasingly sourcing certain varieties of fabrics from other competitive countries. Even though China is the largest manufacturer of Fabrics in the World, it also imported US$ 7,676 Mn worth of Fabrics (of all fibres) in the year 2016.  However, India’s share is only US$ 84 Mn [1.11%], thereby indicating large scope for increasing exports from India. The Council has been instrumental in organising various export promotion activities in China including B2B interactions and undertaking group participation in important fairs and exhibitions.

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics (ITSAF) is the world’s largest apparel fabrics and accessories fairs and attracts thousands of apparel fabrics’ and accessory ’ suppliers as well as over 60,000 garment manufacturers ,trading company, retail chain stores , department stores , buying offices, wholesalers & distributors etc. from around the globe every year. In order to facilitate increase in India’s export of cotton Fabrics to China the Council organized group participation of its Members at the Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics (ITSAF) fair held from 27th to 29th September, 2018, at National Exhibition and Convention Centre, Shanghai, China. 7 Companies exhibited at the India Pavilion setup by the Council. The participants have reported receiving a good response for both grey and processed Fabrics. The enquiries received at the Council’s Stall have also been circulated.

The Council also organized a group participation at the Yarn Expo Fair, Shanghai, China held from 15 to 17 October, 2018. 54 companies participated at the event. While many importers from China and around the world visited the event, reports suggest that booking of orders was subdued as the Chinese appear to be waiting and watching the developments in the ongoing Sino -US trade war.

Government Representations

The Council has been engaging with the Government at various levels for extending the benefits of MEIS to Cotton Yarn and increasing the same in the case of Fabrics especially in the light of the tariff disadvantages faced by Indian exporter of these products on account of preferential access given to our competitors in important markets like E.U, China, Vietnam, Turkey etc. In this regard, we had several meetings and we hope our submissions will be considered favourably by the Government.

With regard to the GST refunds on exports, while the Government has taken many steps to expedite speedy refunds, there are still a large number of cases where exporters have not got the refunds. However, it is found that in many of the cases, the refunds are held up due to mistakes committed by the exporters. It is advisable that exporters should take all precautions to ensure that the details on the Shipping bills match with the monthly returns GSTR-1. In case, members need any assistance or guidance, they should get in touch with the Council.   

Alternate Export Promotion Schemes

The Government is in the process of formulating WTO compatible schemes to promote exports. In this regard, TEXPROCIL has engaged the services of a consulting firm M/s Ikdhvaj Advisers LLP to conduct a Study on Alternate Export Promotion Schemes which can be recommended to the Government. In this connection, the Council in association with PDEXCIL and The Karur Exporters Association held meetings with exporters of fabrics at Erode on 15.10.2018 and with the exporters of Made ups (including home textiles) at Karur on 16.10.2018 respectively to discuss Alternate schemes for exports.

These meetings were well attended by the exporters in and around the region. While the subject experts made a detailed presentation which covered WTO provisions, suggestions for devising schemes etc., the exporters also gave valuable insights in the matter which were noted by the consulting firm. The Study is in the final stages of preparation and will be released shortly.

Annual Export Awards

As you are aware the Council holds its annual export awards to felicitate the exporters who have achieved excellence in exports in various categories listed in the scheme of awards.  The function this year is being organised on 3rd November 2018 in Mumbai. The Hon’ble Minister of Textiles, Smt Smriti Zubin Irani has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest at the event and present the awards to the winners. A novel feature this year is the Award for generating highest employment (including women employment). We are happy to note that our members responded enthusiastically to this award showing their unwavering commitment to contribute to the national mission of creating large scale employment in the Country. We look forward to have an active presence of the industry stalwarts who have contributed to the success of sector and have won laurels for their own companies and wish them success in their future endeavours.

Way forward

Friends, despite the challenging times with economic indicators sagging, our exporters need to be lauded for their performance. The government is also hopeful that exports would touch an all-time high in 2018-19 given its commitment to address concerns of labour- intensive textiles sector.  While the Council is actively pursuing with the government to address concerns such as easier availability of credit from banks and simplification of procedures, incentivising exports in the wake of the global challenges, we as stakeholders must also act swiftly by devising our own specific strategies that will help us tide over these challenges.

Ujwal Lahoti