Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said that New National Textile Policy is close to finalization and to be issued before the end of April, 2016 during the budget session of the Lok Sabha. The policy is expected to accommodate a series of reforms to make India a truly manufacturing hub in textiles sectors so that Indian textiles players can take maximum advantages of the slowdown in Chinese textiles industry.
To begin with, the industry will see amendment in the labour law to facilitate women workforce to work during night shift. As per existing norms, women are allowed to work only in the day shift. With the textiles sector being the second-largest employment provider with over 50% coming in from women segment in rural India, it is important to facilitate women workforce adequate policy support to work during the night shift.
The Government has also laid specific focus on reducing transportation cost, as a result of which the cotton seed transport cost has come down by almost 25%-40%.
The Minister said that his Ministry has given approval for 24 new Textile parks which will create employment for an additional 4,50,000 people.
The textile ministry has written to the ministry of finance to lower interest rates to 7% on working capital to which according to Dilip Jiwrajka, chairman and managing director of Alok Industries, works out to 10.5%. A sudden spurt in interest rates from 3.5% to 10.5% has resulted into many manufacturing units closing down and others facing huge squeeze in their profit margins.
The textile industry currently employs 35 million workforce which is targeted to double by 2022. For which the government has focused on skilling of youth in various sectors. Through this, however, around 625,000 of skilled manpower have been given employment in textiles sector in the last 18 months.
Gangwar further said that the slowdown in Chinese economy has rendered cost of textile production in China high. So, Chinese textiles manufacturers have lost competitive advantages of lower cost of production in the last few months. This has offered an opportunity for Indian players to grab the market share of China in the developed world especially the European Union and United States which cumulatively consists of around 60% of the global export market share. This is the right time to increase our market share in exports.
Further speaking of Regional Trade Block Agreements such as Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Minister said that the Government is working towards Foreign Trade agreement (FTA) with European Union and is holding comprehensive discussions on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). He said that the Government is in the process of reviewing existing trade agreements such as Indo-ASEAN FTA and Indo-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
In India, as Textile manufacturers are currently enjoy various exports incentives schemes including MEIS and duty drawbacks.
The Minister expressed confidence that the futuristic, inclusive and participatory vision of the government would give long term benefits.
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