Summarising the current scenario of the industry, from fibre to clothing, the groups felt that going by the past trends of expansion in capacity to match increasing demands, future domestic demands too may be met by the industry. The analysis, however, highlights failure of the readymade garment industry to effect consolidation and attract the much-needed huge investments despite de-reservation.
The Indian textile industry is the largest manufacturing sector accounting for around 20 per cent of the country’s industrial output and provides direct employment to over 15 million people.
India boasts of being the third largest producer of cotton and fourth largest producer of staple fibre in the world. The country holds the distinction of being a leader in global cotton yarn trade accounting for one-fourth of the trade.
In the case of natural fibres, India is self-sufficient in cotton and silk. However, the former is imported marginally and certain varieties of the latter are imported from China. Entire quantity of wool for apparel is imported from Australia and New Zealand and that for carpets (coarse wool) is locally produced (also supplemented by imports). Specialty fibres like cashmere, angora, mohair etc are fully imported to meet the woollen industry’s requirements.
India’s domestic needs for man made fibres (like polyester, viscose, acrylic etc) are fully met by the Indian industry with exportable surplus available for polyester.
Specialty fibres are mainly imported in small quantities, the groups observe in their combined report to the textile commissioner. All yarns too, other than specialty yarns, are adequately manufactured domestically.
“The fabric segment is still dominated by decentralised sector using low technology owing to aberrations in fiscal policy. Per capita availability has practically trebled during the last five decades, the report said.