The textile manufacturers of Tamil Nadu have called for conducive government policies to make India a major player in man-made fibre (MMF) textiles and clothing products globally. They sought certain tweaks in the soon to be implemented labour laws and permission for liberal import of MMF yarn by removing anti-dumping duty on MMF raw materials.
In an interaction with the Parliamentary Panel on Labour on January 19, industry body National Committee on Textiles & Clothing (NCTC) wanted a level playing field in the globalised environment and said there is tremendous scope for India to grab the opportunities thrown by the global trends to move away from China in the post COVID-19 days.
"India accounts for only 2.2 per cent of the global MMF textile trade, and the Ministry of Textiles has proposed a Focus Product Incentive Scheme for 40 HS (tariff) lines of MMF garments and 10 HS lines of Technical Textiles under the Production Linked Incentive Scheme recently announced by the government. The global trade of these 50 HS line products is around $222 billion and the existing share of India is very dismal," the committee pointed out.
NCTC said the anti-dumping duty and customs duty protection given for the domestic manufacturers and 18 per cent GST on man-made fibres and 12 per cent GST on MMF yarn have been curtailing the growth of the MMF sector in India.
"India could not import even speciality fibres that are not manufactured in the country under nil duty. These MMF raw materials are produced by a very few manufacturers. Cotton produced by over 6 million farmers does not attract any duty and made available cheaper than the international price. MMF is expensive upto 23 per cent", the committee informed the Parliamentary Panel.
The industry wanted the Standing Committee on Labour to recommend removing anti-dumping duty and also slotting the entire MMF value chain under 5 per cent GST rate on par with cotton value chain apart from addressing inverted duty structure issues at processing and capital goods. They said that based on their earlier representations the government has already removed the anti-dumping duty on PTA, acrylic fibre and rejected the proposed anti-dumping duty on PSF and MEG, thus enabling global competitiveness for the polyester segment.
The committee also sought certain amendments in the new Codes to ensure ease of doing business. "Fixing uniform minimum wages across the country for all trades and jobs is essential to create a level playing field. There is a huge variation in the rates of minimum wages between states and also between trades and job roles within the state. NCTC appealed to the Standing Committee on Labour to advise state governments to avoid applying Juvenile Justice Act that defines the child labour as 18 years below while Factories Act permits employment of adolescent workers aged between 16 and 18 years, subject to certain conditions," said S Sunanda, secretary general of Conferedation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI).
In addition to CITI, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL), The Synthetic & Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC), Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL), Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA) and Tirupur Exporters' Association (TEA) are part of the National Committee on Textiles & Clothing (NCTC).