Imports of knitted and woven garments by India from Bangladesh have increased 56% during July-November this year compared to the same period last year. According to data released by Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau, India’s import of garments from Bangladesh was worth 87.4 million $ during July – November this year as against 55.92 million $ for the same period last year. Imports of knitted garments increased by 69 % and that of woven apparel by 51 %. Sanjay Kumar Jain, chairman of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, has said in a press release that before implementation of Goods and Services Tax, garments imported from Bangladesh attracted levies such as Countervailing Duty and education cess. If the MRP was Rs. 999 a piece, the levies added up to Rs. 77 a piece. If the MRP was Rs. 1,500, the levies came up to Rs. 116. However, after GST, the basic customs duty on the garments is exempted and imports cost less now. Hence, the Indian garment producers face competition from countries such as Bangladesh in the domestic market too.
Mr. Jain appealed to the Union Government to impose safeguard measures such as Rules of Origin, yarn and fabric Forward Rules on countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh that have free trade agreements with India. This will ensure that garments from China do not get into Indian market through these countries. Imports might increase in the coming days if more Indian brands start sourcing from duty free, low cost countries, he said.