The overall exports in the textile sector grew at a much slower pace than the imports grew in the last five years.
As India’s textile sector aimed to grab an opportunity amid the US-China trade war, the textile exports from around 15 states contracted in the last five years. In FY15, the textile exports from many states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi were more than what they were in FY19, according to a written reply given by Textile Minister Smriti Irani in Lok Sabha. From Delhi, the textile exports halved from $542 mn in FY15 to a mere $270 in FY19 while in Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, the contraction was on account of 20 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.
The overall exports in the textile sector grew at a much slower pace than the imports grew in the last five years. The textile exports rose 2.2 per cent while textile imports shot up by 13.1 per cent between FY15 and FY19, according to the parliament papers. India’s top 5 textile export destinations are the USA, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, the UK, while the top 5 import destinations are China, the US, Australia, Bangladesh, and Taiwan.
The textile industry is a labour-intensive industry thus the growth plays a vital role in job creation. The textile industry is also one of the industries that have major participation from the informal sector as well. Hence, a fall in the industry causes loss of jobs from the informal sector that is hardly measured. However, the government had earlier said that to curtail imports of textiles and to boost domestic production, it has doubled the Basic Customs Duty from 10 per cent to 20 per cent on 383 apparel HS lines from 16 July 2018.