The government has fixed the textile and clothing export target at $48.5 billion for the current fiscal, textile minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said on Friday, aiming for an over 21% rise in outbound shipments from the actual level of 2015-16.
According to a quick estimate, the country’s overall textile and garment exports remained almost flat at $40 billion in the last fiscal, said a senior textile ministry official. Still, the exports fell short of the official target of $45-47.5 billion for 2015-16.
With demand from China remaining tepid and recovery in the developed markets like the US and the EU still fragile, the ambitious shipment target for the current fiscal would be hard to achieve, especially in view of stiff competition from countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
For its part, the textile ministry has sought a quick resolution of the India-EU free trade agreement, which would pave the way for duty-free access of Indian textile and garment items to the EU, which account for over a third of the country’s garment exports, official sources told FE.
Five lakh jobs created
Gangwar said the ministry has spent over R6,500 crore on various schemes for the promotion and development of the textile sector. Roughly 5 lakh additional jobs have been created in the past two years in the textiles sector, he added.
Cotton procurement and sales by CCI
The state-run Cotton Corporation of India procured around 8.7 million bales of cotton in 2014-15, the highest since 8.9 million bales in 2008-09 to avoid distress sales by farmers when cotton prices crashed below the minimum support prices, and has since sold most of these stocks, with only only 60,000 bales left. But its procurement operation remained restricted to few regions in 2015-16, as cotton prices mostly remained above the benchmark prices set by the Centre. It has procured around 9 lakh bales so far in the 2015-16 marketing year through September, of which roughly six lakh bales have been sold. The CCI procures cotton from farmers at MSPs to avoid distress sales by them and sells the stocks in the market later. Any losses out of the procurement operation is reimbursed by the government.
Textile vision policy
The government will announce its textile vision policy this year, said Gangwar. The textile ministry has circulated a note for inter-ministerial consultations. The policy will then be placed before the Cabinet for approval.