The textiles industry on Friday asked the Commerce Ministry to ease the process of imports of cotton yarn and fabric to help boost exports, which have been hit hard by the global demand slowdown.

“Imports of cotton yarn and fabrics should be permitted without licence at flat fixed customs duty rate,” Apparel Export Promotion Council Chairman A Sakthivel said in a proposal to Commerce Secretary S R Rao.

Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia have achieved phenomenal growth through easy import policy of yarn and fabrics, he said, adding that the move will boost textile exports at competitive prices and help reduce widening trade deficit.

“The current scheme of advance licence in the foreign trade policy, although allows duty free import but it is a tedious route and is not used extensively by the exporters,” Sakthivel said.

India’s textiles exports declined 6 per cent year-on-year to $ 14.1 billion during the April-September period because of slowdown in major markets like the US and EU.

In the first six months of the 2012-13 fiscal, textiles exports stood at $ 14.18 billion.

The country’s textiles exports stood at $ 30.4 billion in 2011-12. The government is hopeful of achieving the textile export target of $ 40.5 billion for 2012-13.

(This article was published on December 21, 2012)
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