Mumbai: India’s textile exports may cross $40 billion (Rs1.6 trillion) in 2010-11, short of the government’s stated target of $50 billion, weighed down by the rise in rupee over the past year, Shankersinh Vaghela, Union textiles minister, said.
The government is targeting textile exports of around $25 billion for 2008-09, Vaghela said late on Wednesday.
India missed its 2007-08 target by 18% due to the rupee appreciation. “I understand that our $50 billion target is facing some challenges, but we are still confident of achieving more than $40 billion”, Vaghela said.
“A strengthening currency is good for any country. However, our exports were hurt as exporters did not get the desired returns”, he added.
But, the worst is behind and exports will benefit now that the rupee has started falling again, he said.
The rupee rose more than 8% against the dollar between April 2007 and March 2008, making it one of Asia’s best performing currencies. A stronger rupee hurts exports by making local goods expensive in overseas markets. It lost 3.7% in the financial year that began on 1 April.
The minister said the country’s cotton production may touch record highs in the year ending September 2009, mainly due to an increase in productivity in Maharashtra and better returns in the current year. “If the monsoons are good we may see production of 35 million bales,” he said. This is about 13% more than the 2007-08 production estimates of 31 million bales.