Apparel exports from the country dwindled for the eighth month in a row giving tough time to exporters based in Punjab, Haryana and UP. The three states contribute 40 per cent of the total apparel exports from the country.
The sector has been witnessing a downward trend since October last. In dollar terms, the exports declined by over 16 per cent in May 2018. There are around 800 exporters in these states.
According to a data, total readymade garment exports in May this year was around $1.34 billion while it was $1.6 billion in the same month last year. In rupee terms, exports in the month was Rs 9,040.63 crore, a decline of 12.6 per cent over Rs 10,343 crore during the corresponding period last year.
Exporters say apparel exports, particularly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have seen a steep decline due to high input costs, delay in GST refund and stiff competition from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan and China.
The input costs in Punjab, Haryana and UP is higher compared to other regions, thus affecting the industry, said Harish Dua, MD of Ludhiana-based KG Exports. In such a scenario, exporters in Punjab are pining hope on the Drawback Committee constituted by the Finance Ministry to provide incentives in a time-bound manner. The continued backlog in the GST and the remission on state levies are affecting the business sentiments. “The exports are dwindling because of weak economic sentiments globally. However, with dollar strengthening, we expect that things will improve by September,” said Apparel Export Promotion Council Chairman HKL Magu.