According to the latest trade data available with the apparel industry, country’s apparel exports witnessed a decline to the tune of 22.76 per cent (1.34 billion dollar) in April, 2018, as compared to April, 2017, when the apparel exports were worth $1.74 billion.
In the terms of money, exports for the month of April, 2018, were approximately Rs 8,859 crore as compared to approximately Rs 11.272 crore in April 2017. The apparel exporters are much worried over the sharp decline in exports. Narinder Chugh, member, state-level Committee of Apparel Export Promotion Council, said the decline in exports was a disturbing trend. “Exports are in a negative territory since October due to several reasons. Major reason was that our GST refunds were blocked for a long time and we did not have cash and other countries/exporters took advantage and fetched orders. Secondly, the duty drawback was decreased from 10 per cent to just about two and a half percent. Thirdly, we cannot not compete with Vietnam and Bangladesh as we are not given enough facilities and benefits,” said Chugh.
The exporters said the infrastructure provided by the Centre to give boost to the apparel exports was also not up to the mark. Another exporter Harish Dua of KG Exports said: “The high-base effect has been due to the release of rebate of state levies (RoSL) amount during April 2017, but the continued backlog in GST and RoSL is affecting the sentiments. The government should address the issue at the earliest and reverse the trend of stagnating exports,” he said.