The textile vision document prepared by the Ajay Shankar committee, proposes export of only finished products. This would involve growth rate of apparel, home furnishings, technical textiles and other finished products be grow very rapidly. As it forecast textile and garment exports worth $300 billion by 2024-25.
This would maximise employment generation and value creation within the country. In the process, investment of about $120 billion would take place and about 35 million additional jobs would get created. But it would lead to decline in the growth rates of fibre and yarn exports in the country. It would also be difficult to discourage yarn exports by spinning mills, which have already added vast capacity to transpire as the largest suppliers of cotton yarn in the global market.
However, implementing these suggestions would be easier said than done because attempts by the textile ministry in recent years to discourage cotton exports — either through a temporary ban or by fixing a cap on exports or a tax on outbound shipments to protect the interests of the industry — set off wide-scale protests by farmers, political parties and even the agriculture ministry.
Cotton accounted for roughly 9% of the global exports of textiles and garment, cotton yarn, fabrics and made-ups made up for 23%. The country accounted for roughly 5% of global trade last year.
The vision document also forecasts textile and garment sales in the domestic market to rise to $350 billion by 2024-25, as against $100 billion in the last fiscal.
As per the vision, there is no reason why India, provided it takes the necessary steps, cannot achieve 20% growth in exports over the next decade. In the domestic market, sustaining an annual growth rate of 12% should not be difficult.
Although India has shown growth in its textile and apparel exports at an average of 11% over the last 10 years but still lagging behind, the growth rates achieved by even smaller nations. Vietnam has achieved a peak export growth rate of 30% while Bangladesh has managed to achieve a growth rate of 18% during this period.
The draft vision, strategy and action plan has called for online comments/suggestions until August 18, after which feedback will be considered and a final action plan will be prepared and placed before the Cabinet for approval.
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