Inspite of the strong headwinds, the Indian textile and clothing exports have registered a positive growth during the fiscal year 2017-2018. Despite missing the US$ 45 billion target set by the government, textiles and clothing exports reached a level of US$ 37.85 billion in fiscal year 2017- 2018 just surpassing the achievement of US$ 37.69 billion during the last fiscal year 2016-2017. The industry is recovering slowly from the impact of GST roll out seen in terms of delay in refunds, issues of cash flow. Tariff advantages enjoyed by competitors like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam also remain a challenge even though a favourable exchange rate has offered some relief.

While the RMG exports continue to report a decline, the cotton textiles have achieved a growth of 7 per cent reaching a level of US$ 11 billion in fiscal year 2017- 2018 from the earlier achievement of US$ 10 billion in fiscal year 2016-2017.

Trade Data

An analysis of product wise exports of cotton textiles during the fiscal year 2017-2018 have shown that exports of cotton yarn have grown 6 per cent year-on-year while cotton fabrics / cotton madeups exports have grown by 5 per cent and the exports of raw cotton have registered a 16 per cent growth.

Exports of Cotton yarn

During this period, while China continued to be largest market for Indian cotton yarn with a share of 28 per cent in quantity terms and 25 per cent in value terms, however, total export to China have declined by (-) 18.3 per cent. Bangladesh - the second largest market for Indian cotton yarn with a share of 22 percent in quantity and 20 per cent in value terms, recorded a growth of 14.2 per cent over the previous year. China and Bangladesh account for about 50 per cent of cotton yarn export from India. Other markets such as Egypt, Portugal, Peru and Turkey have recorded positive growth (more than 20 per cent) during the fiscal year 2017-2018, contributing to increase in export of cotton yarn from India.

Exports of Cotton Fabrics / Cotton Madeups

Bangladesh was the leading market for cotton fabrics during the fiscal year 2017-2018 with a share of 20 per cent, followed by Sri Lanka and USA with shares of 11 per cent and 7 per cent respectively. Bangladesh has recorded growth of 11.70 per cent, USA recorded a growth of 19.79 per cent and Senegal (4th largest market) has recorded a growth of 19.78 per cent. Amongst the top 20 markets for export of Cotton Fabrics from India, export to Italy, Egypt, Gambia, Thailand, Nigeria, Germany, Turkey & Tanzania have recorded two digit positive growth (above 10 per cent) during the FY 2017- 2018 over the previous year thereby resulting in increase in overall export of Cotton Fabrics from India. As regards Made-ups, export to traditional markets like USA, Germany, UK and Australia showed a declining trend. However, the overall decline was offset by higher export to non-traditional markets like Spain, Denmark, Poland, Chile, Nigeria, Belgium and even China.

Exports of Raw Cotton

Bangladesh continued to be the largest market for Indian Raw Cotton in the fiscal year 2017-2018 with a share of 41 per cent in value terms and has recorded a growth of 14.79 per cent over the previous year. Vietnam is the second largest market for Indian Raw Cotton with a share of 18% recording a growth of 78.72 per cent over the previous year. Amongst the top 20 export markets for Raw Cotton which have recorded two digit positive growth (above 10%) during the fiscal year 2017-2018 are Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Malaysia, Belgium, Germany, Mauritius, Italy, Portugal and South Korea.

Meeting with Finance Minister & Textiles Minister

To formulate a strategy for enhancing export in the textile and clothing sector and to understand the challenge faced by the sector, Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance and Smt Smriti Zubin Irani, Hon’ble Union Minister of Textiles held a joint meeting with the heads of Export Promotion Councils on 27th May at New Delhi. In the meeting the Council presented an overview of the sector and requested the Hon’ble Ministers of Finance and Textiles to support the sector with a few policy measures like refund of embedded taxes (which has also been recognised by the Economic Survey for the year 2017-18), extending the innovative Refund of State Levies (ROSL) scheme which refunds state levies like VAT on fuel used in transportation (raw materials, finished goods and factory workers) and generation of captive power, Mandi tax, Duty on electricity, Stamp duties on export documents etc. to yarns and fabrics and expedite the refund of pending GST and IGST claims and ROSL of the exporters.

We thank the Hon’ble Ministers of Finance and Textiles for agreeing to clear the dues arising out of ROSL refunds in 15 days by providing necessary funds, authorising the Pillai Committee on Duty Drawback to examine issues of embedded taxes for all textile products and reviewing ROSL rates for Made-ups, issuing instructions for including yarn and fabrics under the scheme, look at alternate Export Promotion Schemes in consultation with the Ministry of Commerce and also ensure that all pending claims under GST and IGST are refunded within a period of next 15-20 days. During the meeting, the Council sought an integrated approach for the development of the textile industry so that the country’s share in global world trade in cotton textiles increases from 10 to 15 per cent in the next five years.

We are happy to note that the Government has announced a second “Special drive Refund Fortnight” from 31st May 2018 to 14th June 2018 striving to clear all GST refund applications received on or before 30th April 2018 and has also issued instructions for enhancing ROSL Rates for Madeups after reviewing the embedded State levies.


Technical textiles is the sunrise segment of the global textile industry. With increasing competition and diminishing margins in the production of conventional textiles, textile manufacturers in industrialised countries have switched over to production of value added technical textiles. India is emerging as a significant player in technical textiles. The fast-paced economic growth leading to the infrastructure creation as well as higher disposable income has made India a key market for technical textile products. However, the current Indian Technical Textile sector has to develop a lot and this can be done only by more and more Indian and foreign companies investing in this sector. The Ministry of Textiles is making concerted efforts to accelerate the growth of this sector.

In order to promote technical textiles sector Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) are jointly organising the 7th edition of International Exhibition and conference on Technical Textiles - TECHNOTEX 2018 from June 28-29, 2018 at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Mumbai-India. The government has undertaken initiatives to liberalize the laws regarding investments for helping manufacturers to do business in India. The two day-event will serve as the right platform for interaction between the Indian and Foreign companies from technical textile value chain and will prove to be a turning point in building confidence of Indian and foreign companies to invest in the technical textile sector in India.

The Council has been an integral arm of the Government in promoting Indian technical textiles in the world and has proposed to undertake participation at TECHNOTEX 2018 by setting up an information booth during the event. To realise the full potential of this industry, dedicated joint efforts are required by both, Government and the industry.

I appeal to all our members to actively participate in large numbers at ‘TECHNOTEX 2018’ and benefit from the various initiatives undertaken by the Government to promote the Indian technical textile value chain.

Skill Development and Employment Generation

Friends, you will be happy to know that at the behest of request of the Textile Sector Skill Council (TSC), Madhya Pradesh State Government has arranged 10 number of job melas starting on June 4th 2018, exclusively for textile industry with 112 textile mills intending to participate in the job mela and more are being welcomed to join. Besides introducing attractive criterias for pre-screening the candidates attending the job mela, the MP Govt has gone one step forward by taking care of boarding/lodging and local travel expenses for all the person attending job mela on behalf of Textile Mills. Based on the outcome of the mela, TSC plans to request all other state Governments to follow this procedure, so that to some extent the serious problem faced by Mills in mobilising the workers can be solved. Members may write to Textile Skill Council (TSC) on email (mpjobmela@texskill.in) for any further information or for submitting their intent for participation in the mela.

Meeting International Standards

Appropriate standards are needed if the country has to emerge as a destination for quality manufacturing. “Standards” are an important part of a nation’s development towards a more responsible and harmonized system. Standards need to be positioned as a key driver of all economic activities relating to goods and services and needs to be developed as a comprehensive ecosystem in India. Standards can be used as an enhancer of competitiveness of Indian goods and services in domestic and international markets and can help create an integrated structure for conformity assessment (including accreditation), and technical regulations in India. These developments on technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment practices can also address issues that impede market access of Indian goods and services. Institutions and organisations meanwhile also need to develop timely and calibrated responses to international developments and market intelligence.

Besides sharing inputs with the Government for developing our own standards to remain competitive in the industry, the Council on its part also disseminates information on likely strategies to strengthen regulatory regime in the country to equip its member exporters with information on technical barriers that they face in the foreign markets. The Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been actively engaged in organising various standards conclaves to address various issues concerning standardization for all sectors. Organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the 5th National Standards Conclave based on the theme “Implementing the Indian National Standards Strategy” is scheduled to be held during 18-19 June, 2018, in New Delhi. Members are encouraged to actively participate in such forums to stay abreast of newer intelligence on Standards.

Going Forward

Friends, we must note that the existing export promotion schemes in operation have been extremely useful in increasing exports especially on account of the various disabilities suffered by the exporters namely preferential tariffs given to competing countries, high logistic and transaction costs incurred on account of infrastructural deficiencies, etc. While there is a growing international pressure on the Government to phase out the support being extended to exports, the phasing out of existing export benefits should be gradual and alternate schemes should be developed before the existing schemes are phased out. Every effort should be made to continue the present export promotion schemes up to the year 2020 i.e. till the end of the current Foreign Trade Policy period. We have impressed upon the Government to keep these facts in mind while formulating New Schemes in order to ensure continuity in business and foster trust between the exporters and importers in the long term interest of all round export growth.

Ujwal R Lahoti