However, apparel exports dropped 0.3% between April and Dec. 2017 and 8% in December alone Imports of yarn, fabrics and made-up articles during December last year rose 20% compared with December 2016, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Matter of concern’
Sanjay Jain, chairman, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, said this was a matter of concern as export data of Bangladesh showed India imported garments worth $111.3 million during July-December 2017 from Bangladesh, which was 66 % higher as against the same period of the previous year. Imports of knitted apparel from Bangladesh were worth $20.6 million in July-December 2016 and rose to $36.5 million between July-December last year. Meanwhile, though total export of textile and apparel rose 2% between April and December 2017 over the first nine months of 2016-2017, apparel exports dropped 0.3 % during the same period and 8% in December alone. A leading garment exporter here said one of the reasons for the decline in exports is revision of duty drawback rates. “Once an international buyer enters into a contract with an Indian supplier, the rates are fixed and might only go down in the future. “But, cotton prices and yarn prices are going up in the domestic market. And, the government has reduced the duty drawback rates. After GST, we do not know yet what refund we will get on duties paid on exports,” the exporter said. Mr. Jain said there was a need to impose safeguards such as Rules of Origin, Yarn Forward and Fabric Forward rules on nations like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that had free trade agreements with India and China.“Garment manufacturers in India have to pay duty on imported fabrics, while Bangladesh can import fabric from China duty-free, convert it into garments, and sell to India duty-free,” he said in a statement.