India is working on signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries like UK, UAE and the European Union, but the FTAs cannot be signed in a hurry, Commerce and Industry Ministry Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.
The government is also working for tariff correction on Indian textile sector in the proposed FTAs, Goyal, who is also the Textile Minister, told media while briefing about the Cabinet's approval for production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for textile sector.
"India is also working on FTAs with western countries like UK, EU and the UAE. We are planning to correct the tariff restrictions on Indian products. We are trying to cover this disability in the FTAs. FTAs cannot be done in hurry. FTAs done in a hurried manner in the past have hurt the Indian interests. That is the reason India opted out of RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). Our principle for FTA is reciprocity," Goyal said.
Earlier today, the Cabinet approved a Rs 10,683 crore PLI scheme for the textile sector for manmade fibre (MMF) apparel and fabrics and 10 segments of technical textiles. Announcing the scheme, I&B Minister Anurag Thakur said the scheme will make the Indian textile sector globally competitive.
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Two categories have been identified under the scheme -- one with minimum investment of Rs 100 crore and other with minimum investment of Rs 300 crore.
Elaborating on the scheme, Goyal said, "With every incremental investment in the textile sector, employment is created. Traditionally, we have invested in cotton. Today, two third of the global market is of manmade textile. To facilitate India's contribution in this ecosystem, PLI for the sector has been approved."
Goyal said the government has taken several initiatives like raw material availability at right price, and the policy initiatives taken under Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been unprecedented.
"Textile is used in defence, health sector. India is now the second largest maker of PPE. The government is committed to the textile sector and the government is holding continued deliberations with stakeholders, " he said, adding that India is also pressing for tariff correction on textiles in the proposed FTAs.
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