New Delhi/Mumbai: Textile minister Dayanidhi Maran has said he has conveyed his industry’s demands for the forthcoming foreign trade policy that commerce minister Anand Sharma is scheduled to unveil later this month.
Maran has asked Sharma to increase duty drawback rates across the textile sector by at least 2%.
Wooing investors: Union textile minister Dayanidhi Maran says he is optimistic of a good deal of investment flowing into the industry. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
“I have impressed upon the minister and I will again tell him when I meet him next week that the drawback rates need to revised upwards if textile exporters are not to suffer,” Maran said. “We are also pressing for a host of other incentives from the policy.”
Maran also said the commerce ministry is also considering incentives for textile exporters to diversify into other markets, especially Japan and South-East Asian nations.
The textiles ministry also wants the commerce ministry to come up with policy support which will help textile exporters to have more disposable cash, Maran said.
The World Trade Organization rules prohibit countries from giving direct subsidies on exports.
The textiles minister said his ministry is trying to woo foreign investors in the sector. “We are preparing for road shows in seven European countries and few Japanese companies have also shown interest. Although China is a tough competitor, I amoptimistic of a good deal of investment flowing into the Indian textiles industry,” Maran said. The textiles ministry has also released Rs2,546 crore as part of the allocation for the government’s Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme but the minister has kept the option of asking the Prime Minister and the finance minister for more assistance under this scheme if necessary.
But what has come as some sort of silver lining for the beleaguered ministry is that textile exports, which had shown a drastic dip of more than 15% last year, has improved somewhat with the decline now being just about 5%.
“I believe that the exports slippage is being arrested somewhat but it’s too early to say whether it will be a trend, so let’s wait and watch” Maran said.