The Clothing Manufacturers of India (CMAI) has urged the Centre to confer industry status to the retail sector and also simplify single brand retail FDI policy. These were among the recommendations put forth in a CEO roundtable held with Textile Ministry officials at the ongoing Bharat Tex 2024 conference and exhibition.

The roundtable was attended by senior leaders from Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, Bestsellers, BIBA Fashion, TCNS Clothing, Pepe Jeans and Shoppers Stop among others.

The apparel industry is pushing industry status for for the retail sector for better access to organised financing among other benefits. “ Retail is currently a state subject and every state has its own set of rules. So companies have to follow multiple sets of rules across various states. If the “industry” status is accorded to the retail sector , it will ensure there will be one set of rules formulated by the Centre,” said Rahul Mehta, Chief Mentor, CMAI. He said the industry body will frame a white paper based on these discussions and recommendations.

International brands are also seeking simplification of single brand FDI policy. Some of these international retailers have multiple brands but find the single brand FDI regulation to be complex. Hence, they have sought for some easing of regulations to enable them to launch multiple brands in India too, industry players added.

This comes at a time when India’s apparel and textile industry is poised to touch the $350 billion mark by 2030. Mehta said that the government is putting strong focus on facilitating development and growth of the domestic textile and apparel sector besides promoting exports.

The apparel sector has been witnessing sluggish growth over the past few quarters after witnessing a strong wave of pent-up demand post-Covid.

The apparel industry is also seeking a retail expansion fund on the lines of the governmen’ts technology upgradation fund scheme (TUF) scheme to enable expansion in smaller towns and rural markets that requires capex investments , Mehta added.