Addressing the AGM, Naren Goenka, Chairman AEPC said, “We ended the year 2021-22 with more than US $400 billion of goods exports for the first time ever, apparel exports also did well by registering US$16.2 billion worth of exports, despite challenges. In the first quarter this FY April- June 2022-23, apparel exports registered US$ 4492.0 million of exports compared to April- June 2021-22, which was US$ 3407.0 million, registering a growth of 31.8%.”
He expressed gratitude to Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India for the World’ and the government’s deep engagement with the exporting community.
He mentioned that the string of FTAs and policies like PLI Scheme, PM MITRA, have been beneficial as etc. which can propel Indian manufacturers to become global champions give the much required level-playing field for Indian apparels as against competing countries.
Further Chairman remarked, “In the last one year, India has signed three free trade pacts with Mauritius, the UAE and Australia. Similar negotiations are on a fast pace with many other nations including the UK and Canada with possibility of interim deals covering apparel sector.
These FTAs will surely neutralize the advantage which our competitors use to enjoy in some of the important markets because of GSP and other NTBs.”
On the preparedness of the garment sector to grab the emerging global opportunity Chairman said, “We have to be poised to grab the opportunity by ramping up our production capacity, getting into the MMF segment, integrating with the global value chain and picking up the best practices like sustainability as the world embraces China Plus One strategy.”
We have to actively lower our cost of production and work on meeting the global standards. To match the growing global demand our scale has to be larger and skills have to be matched, Goenka added.
A major of concern however that still hovers the sector is RoSCTL. AEPC has been requesting the government to delete the condition in the notification issued by DoR for holding the transferee liable for the non- realization / excess availed by the exporter, which will also curtail its misuse.
Additionally, it has been requested to the government to announce the new Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) scheme as the ATUF scheme had expired on 31st March 2022.
And also requested the government to consider having PLI-2 version of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme, for the apparel sector, with the provisions such as; investment requirement for RMG units should be Rs.10 Crore or more for machineries and equipment, this scheme should be extended to all apparel units and not limited to MMF segment, and incentive rate should remain uniform for all the 5 years that the scheme will run.
Chairman expressed his sincere gratitude towards the Prime Minister and Textiles Minister for extension of Scheme for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) in Apparels and Made-Ups till 31st March 2024, with the same rates.