The government is planning to roll out a second production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the labour-intensive textiles and garment sector following good response to the first such programme, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.
Speaking at an event in Coimbatore, Goyal said: “We are keen to support the apparel manufacturing sector… Talks are going on between the ministry of textiles, the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) and Niti Aayog. We will be shortly devising a scheme after consulting the industry. We will then put up a proposal for Cabinet approval.”
The government has already selected 61 companies, including Shahi Exports, Arvind Mills, Gokaldas Exports and Monte Carlo, under its first PLI scheme for man-made fibre and technical textiles products.
Incentives of Rs 6,013 crore will be extended to them, which represent 56% of the Rs 10,683 crore that the government had initially earmarked for this scheme. As per sources, the government will likely use the remaining funds to launch the second PLI scheme, instead of spending it elsewhere. Goyal said, given the recent drop in cotton and yarn prices, the government may not need to keep allowing duty-free imports of the fibre beyond September 30 (when the new crop hits the market).
If at all an extension is required, it’s unlikely to be more than a month beyond the September deadline, he said. The government is expecting a bumper cotton crop in the next marketing year starting October. So, it’s mindful of the fact that permitting duty-free cotton imports when new crops arrive in the market may drag down farmers’ earnings, said textile industry sources.
The minister exuded confidence that India and Canada, which have been engaged in negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA), will firm up an early-harvest deal by the end of 2022. New Delhi is in talks for a flurry of FTAs on top of the two trade deals already signed—with the UAE and Australia. These FTAs will help drive up India’s textiles and garment exports, which will exceed $50 billion in FY23 from about $44 billion in the last fiscal, the minister said. New Delhi is currently negotiating with the UK, Israel, Canada and the EU for FTAs. The country is aiming to achieve textiles and garment exports of $100 billion annually in the next five years.
(The reporter was in Coimbatore at the invitation of the Union commerce & industry ministry.)