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India: Commerce Ministry, Tirupur exporters differ on RMG exports figures

The Union commerce ministry and the industrialists in the Tirupur knitwear industry differ on the value of RMG exports in 2018. As per Tirupur Exporters Associations, RMG exports increased by 8.3 per cent in Tirupur in 2018-19 compared to the last fiscal year. However, the Union Commerce Ministry notes that the RMG exports declined by 3.4 per cent to account for $16.137 billion in 2018-19.

Tirupur accounts for about 55 per cent of the knitwear exports in the country. Industry experts say the Tirupur industry has recorded an RMG export value of $3.72 billion in 2018-19. Knitwear exports from the cluster is estimated to be Rs 26,000 crore in 2018-19 against Rs 24,000 crore in 2017-18, with a growth rate of 8.3 per cent.

Exports in the cluster have resumed the growth trajectory after two years of struggle. With the continuance of a positive growth trend coupled with the recent increase in RoSCTL (Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies on Export of Garments and Made-ups) rate, and formation of a stable government, exports are poised to surpass Rs 30,000 crore in the financial year 2019-20.

As per Tirupur exporters and manufacturers’ association, the industry is yet to recover from the double blow of demonetisation and GST with many units being closed down in the past two years. With a highly competitive international market, these units here would have to manage with lower margins. Reduction of duty drawback and delay in GST returns and other subsidies would have a detrimental effect on the industry. If a stable government, the association estimates the export value to reach Rs 30,000 this year.