The Directorate General of Trade Remedies’ (DGTR) decision to recommend removal of anti-dumping duty on viscose staple fibre (VSF) will help boost the man-made fibre (MMF) segment in the country and push exports of apparels, industry representatives said.

“The removal of protectionist tariffs on VSF will align domestic VSF prices with global prices making the entire Indian VSF textile value chain globally competitive. It will boost production and exports,” A Sakthivel, Chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) said in a press statement.

The DGTR in the Commerce Ministry recently recommended the withdrawal of the existing anti-dumping duty on certain VSF from China and Indonesia which is to be followed by a notification from the revenue department in the Finance Ministry. The anti-dumping duty on VSF (up to $0.512 per kg) was enforced by the Finance Ministry in August 2016 for five years.

In its sunset review of the duties, the DGTR concluded that there is no justification for recommending their continuation as the domestic industry enjoyed a dominant position in the Indian market, and the market share of imports from Indonesia and China was very low.

“The decision will help the MMF segment, which both the industry and government have identified as the sunrise sector, for increasing the share of India in global apparel trade. With quality fabric at the right price in place, it will finally give wings to the proposed Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the MMF segment,” Sakthivel said.

Approval from various sources

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, who had been pushing for removal of the duties when she earlier headed the Textile Ministry, said the decision taken by the DGTR was a ‘path-breaking’ one. “The decision taken after a thorough investigation initiated in February 2021 will give a fillip to the MMF sector. My best wishes to the textiles industry as a new chapter begins in India’s MMF growth story,” she tweeted on Monday.

In January this year, a number of industry organisations, such as the AEPC, the National Committee on Textiles and Clothing, the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India, the Indian Spinners Association and the Powerloom Development Export Promotion Council had submitted a joint representation to the Prime Minister. The representation sought the removal of the anti-dumping duties on VSF, redressal of VSF spun yarn availability and price issues to prevent job losses across the VSF textile value chain.

“Removal of anti-dumping on purified terephthalic acid last year followed by VSF yesterday paves way for competitive raw materials in man-made fibres for India. We will see a growth of exports and reduction of imports of MMF Textiles,” said SK Jain, a garment exporter and a representative of the CITI.