Raw silk imports from China has been steadily increasing with low prices, this has disrupted the domestic market and prices of cocoons and raw silk due to large volume of import at low prices. To boost domestic silk production, the government needs to extend anti-dumping duty on raw silk imports from China.
China is biggest exporter of raw silk to India accounting for almost 99 per cent of exported raw silk worth $224.5 million as of 2012-13. Raw silk imports from China grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 7 over per cent during the last 12 years from 2000-01.
The farmers and the reelers who were the most affected segment had requested the government to levy anti dumping duty against China which the Government had imposed antidumping duty on imports of Mulberry Raw Silk of 2A grade and below from China in January 2003, which remained in force until January 2008 and was subsequently extended till January 2014 after a sunset review.
According to Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat, the silk import restrictions have two issues; one is concern of sericulture farmers opposing cheap Chinese raw silk imports threatening their livelihood, while the other issue is of the weaving community which requires raw silk to meet the rising demand.
Taking into account balanced interests of both sericulturists and export manufacturers, periodically reviewing the import policy for raw silk is needed to strike a balance between these two sections.
To boost domestic silk production, governments needs to tie-up of weaver cluster with raw silk production units. Emphasis on value addition and to develop the country as producer country as well as consumer.
Besides, this governments needs to develop sericulture and silk sector and also establish R&D centers to empower and enlighten the weavers with latest ways to increase silk productivity, quality, new designs related to weaving techniques so that they can upgrade their skills and technologies to move up in the value chain for higher quality products and achieve higher productivity.
There is a much need to boost India's silk industry as it provides employment to over 7.6 million people across 51,000 villages operating over 3.28 lakh handlooms and over 45,800 powerlooms with over 8.14 lakh weavers in the country.
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