Raw cotton export already required certification under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). It is now required of any finished textile product exported as an organic one such as yarn, fabrics, made-ups and garments as the government has made it mandatory.
R K Dalmia, Chairman, The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council said that national standard for organic cotton is a welcome move but the manner in which it is being implemented will create havoc in the organic textile industry and lead to loss of export business.
Textile exporters have urged the government to extend the NPOP certification deadline by at least a year, to allow the export industry to adapt in a realistic timeframe, without hampering current export.
Dalmia noted the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority is yet to give official recognition to the certifying bodies.
Buyers are insisting on certificates issued under the global organic textile standard. This is also specified in the letter of credits and contracts. In view of this, not only the exporter but also the importers (buyers) need to understand and accept the changes in certification procedures. This would also require additional time. At a time when export of textiles is sluggish and there is a widening trade deficit.
However, adequate time needs to be ensured for both exporters and importers to adjust and adopt the new procedural requirements, especially at the time when exports of textiles is slow-moving and a wide trade deficit has been formed.
But with the increasing labour costs in China, non-compliance with a large number of factories in Bangladesh, the high rate of inflation and currency appreciation in competing countries have provided India a big opportunity in relative advantage.
According to the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) data, there has been cumulative growth of 17.6 percent in export to $8.3 billion over April-September, the first six months of this financial year, over the same period in 2013-14.
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