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The textile sector in India is one of the oldest industries in the economy and extremely varied, with hand-spun and hand-woven textiles present on one side, while the capital-intensive sophisticated mills sector is on another. The fundamental strength of this industry lies in its strong production base of a wide range of fibre/yarns from natural fibres to synthetic/man-made fibres.

As per IBEF data, India is the second largest textile and clothing exporter in the world, with a total export of US$ 44.4 billion in FY22 and as more and more Indian start-ups start disrupting the value chain itself, the country is primed towards becoming a global market leader. While a growth spree in this sector is inevitable with market forces in favour of the Indian suppliers, the sector could well benefit from some support from the government to fast track this journey.

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“With India having evolved as the global textile industry's cornerstone, we are on the trajectory to increase our exports of textiles and yarns rather than imports. In this regard, we have high hopes from the upcoming budget to strengthen the Indian textile industry in order to boost India's competitiveness in global markets," said Mayank Tiwari, Founder & CEO, ReshaMandi.

In recent times, traceability and sustainability have become crucial when exporting textiles and apparel (T&A) products to western markets including the UK, EU, and US. Sustainability in textile production makes use of methods that minimise the use of water and electricity, the release of harmful chemicals, and the requirement for at least 20% recyclable materials. Traceability, on the other hand, refers to the capacity to track a product's whole lifecycle, from its raw materials through the end users, including its recycling and disposal.

With the call for sustainability and traceability strengthening across the world, to be able to continue to compete in the global markets, ability to integrate technology into the textile sector at a swift pace will play a crucial role and the government’s commitment to this is what the sector is looking forward to from the upcoming budget.

“By focusing on technology integration into the textile sector, tech players who are involved in this space will be able to increase productivity and improve utilisation. This is especially important given the limited technologies currently available and the fact that both of these concepts are relatively new. This will also pave the way for our country to become self-reliant and rather than depending on imports of yarns & textiles, we can start focusing on exports - thereby becoming the global backbone of the textile sector," Mayank added.

While technology integration is a big piece of the puzzle, simultaneously prioritising infrastructure development, particularly for the unorganised sector that makes up India's natural fibre ecosystem are amongst other crucial expectations. The sector believes that if the farmers, yarn manufacturers, or weavers could use compliant setups or a single facility centre that enables the export industry to have more focused conversations with the Indian ecosystem, that in turn would allow the foreign buyers to transact with our businesses in a better and convenient manner.

“We also expect that the upcoming budget will allocate funding for R&D on new technologies as well as a grant for users to put these technologies into use." Mayank further said.

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