Textile industry bullish on growth prospects …

Our Bureau Coimbatore | Updated on December 15, 2013

... but upset at EU’s sops to Pakistan

There is no better time than the present for the Indian textile industry to capitalise and grow, Prem Malik, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, New Delhi said.

Highlighting the gap between the textile industry in China and India, he said India used to have a larger share of the market in the 50s, but due to policy interventions, the country lost its share.

India vs China

India’s present share in the global market is just 4-4.5 per cent against China’s 35 per cent in the world market for textiles.

“But this is the most opportune time to grow, capitalise on the potential,” he said and continued: “the rationale behind this is simple,” enlisting India’s advantage vis-à-vis China

China has become close to a developed economy now. The costs are soaring, especially on the labour front and they have no advantage on power.

There is a huge gap in fibre pricing; so they are looking to import textile goods – be it home textiles or apparels.

Home textiles

“Home textile alone is a $300-billion market and currently we are doing only $3.5 million (in home textiles). Now is, therefore, the second best life time opportunity for the textile industry in India,” he said and urged the participants at the 8th edition of TexFair 2013 to gear up and face the challenges, going forward.

He was delivering the Guest of Honour Address at TexFair 2013, an international expo for textile machinery, spares and accessories at Codissia Trade Fair Complex in Coimbatore. The event is organised by SIMA.

Notwithstanding these, the Indian apparel industry is capable of overtaking Bangladesh, be it infrastructure, raw material, statutory compliance, labour and so on.

Malik also highlighted the huge domestic market potential – both for home textiles and clothing – with the young and growing population, better affordability levels and the move to nuclear household from joint family system.

The Chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council A. Sakthivel said that the prospects looked bright, citing the 17 per cent growth in export of apparels in the last eight months.

TN mills hurt

The Southern India Mills Association (SIMA) Chairman T. Rajkumar, meanwhile, pointed out that the mills in Tamil Nadu were in a disadvantageous position due to high transport cost, power and the recent amendment to VAT Rules, restricting the refund to 2 per cent.

“Mill sector apart, the cotton farmers in the State are also not able to realise the price due to 5 per cent VAT as the CST is only 2 per cent,” he said.

The association has made a representation in this regard to the Chief Minister highlighting the plight of the industries and appealing to consider withdrawal of amendments in the VAT Rules and also reduce the VAT on cotton and cotton cone yarn from 5 per cent to 2 per cent.

... but upset at EU’s sops to Pakistan

Textile industry sources concede that there will be some impact on exports from India because of the withdrawal of concessions by the European Union for several Indian goods.

“This withdrawal is bound to have some impact, but we have to compete, take it up with the EU, so that we have a level playing field,” said Prem Malik, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry.

“The gap between Pakistan and India on textile products is 6 per cent. We have a competitive advantage. The EU market is huge,” he said in response to a query.

The industry, which seems to be quite upbeat about growth potential – both in the domestic market and on the export front – however, seemed not happy about the special preference given by the EU for imports from Pakistan.

The industry is targeting exports worth $43 billion this year (apparel and textiles).

Published on December 15, 2013

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