Apparel exports have surged 26 per cent in the first seven months of 2013-14, touching Rs 49,200 crore. Speaking at an annual export award function Dr. Rao, Union Textiles Minister said, "The apparel sector has earned Rs. 49,200 crores foreign exchange in April-October, 2013, showing a growth of 26% over the same period during year 2012. Income in both the currencies i.e. INR and US$ are buoyant. In dollar terms, the growth is 15.5% (US$ 8.2 billion) during the same period"
The export award function was organized by AEPC for outstanding export performance for the year 2012-13, at apparel house, Gurgaon. Among the August gathering were Dr. K S Rao, Union Textiles Minister, who delivered awards in presence of Smt. Zohra Chatterji, the Guest of Honour, Senior Officials of Government of India, officials of AEPC and the captains of the garment Industry.
Dr Rao further added that, "I am confident that we are on the road to recovery. Signs of its revival are visible in USA & EU, which guided my instinct to revise the apparel export target to USD 17 Billion during the current Financial Year. Let's keep a high target in next year. I am sure the industry will compensate its deficit and shall try to reach US $ 60 billion in the next 3 years".
Dr A Sakthivel, chairman, AEPC highlighted the role the apparel industry in view of the US$43.20 billion target for a strong textile value chain and exports growth and apparels contributes around 40% of this. With conducive environment and signs of revival in major US & EU markets, Sakthivel believes that the target will be achieved.
Union Textiles Minister, in his address also informed that during the 12th Five Year Plan, emphasized has been made for ensuring raw material safety through National Fibre Policy, Technology Mission on cotton, towards modernization, skill & financial support, etc. The government has also laid stress for the continuation of TUFS in 12th Plan, Integrated Textile Parks, Integrated Skill Development Scheme, DISHA and even Knitwear Technology Mission under product development have been finalized as Government Policy. The Integrated Skill Development Scheme includes leveraging on the existing strong institutions and training experience within the Ministry and ensuring private sector participation through a PPP model.
Underlining the key objectives of 12th five Year Plan, Rao said, achieving annual average growth rate of 11.5% in volume terms in cloth production, Increase domestic value addition and technological depth, training of 35 lakh persons, additional employment to 15.81 million workers by 2016-17, etc are the key priorities. Minister also underlined need to need to innovate and explore new non-traditional markets like Israel, Russia, Brazil and Japan etc. The new markets should be perceived actually as a new growth opportunity.
Dr Sakthivel once again raised the request of apparel exporters for 5% Duty Credit Scrip for import of those fabrics which are not widely available in India. Chairman emphasized, "This proposal has been discussed with the Ministry, DGFT, Ministry of Commerce, Cabinet Secretary, NMCC, Ministry of Finance and everybody is not only supporting us for this proposal, rather they have appreciated our innovative proposal. In such a time, when buyers are forced to divert orders from China and Bangladesh, we need this urgently.";
Zohra Chatterji, Secretary (Textiles) in her remark said, "In order to expand the horizons of textile and apparel industry, a large number of initiatives have been taken in consultation with the various stakeholders. We want you to exert more and clock US$ 17 billion dollars exports during 2013-14 and develop capabilities to raise the exports to the level of US$60 billion in next 3 financial years."
The garment sector needs to identify key areas to work on, focus their energies on evolving new markets, establishing brand India and partnering with Skills training institutions for enhancing the skill base of our industry in view of the demands that growth will generate, she added.