As the textile sector is India’s second largest employment provider, the government has taken several initiatives to enhance international competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. The mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020, released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has largely focussed on ‘ease of doing business’, ‘ease of trading across borders’, ‘exploring new export markets’, ‘new export products’, ‘simplification of procedures and processes’ and ‘establishing national trade facilitation committee’ headed by the Cabinet Secretary, to boost exports.
P Nataraj, Chairman, The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has stated that the uniform tax rates and practices post the implementation of GST across states have led to considerable reduction in the logistics and transaction cost for exporters. He has appreciated the formation of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) under the Cabinet Secretary to focus on transparency, technology, simplification of procedures and infrastructure augmentation, among others. 24 x 7 customs clearance extended to 19 sea ports and 17 air cargo complexes would help exporters informs Nataraj.
The government is yet to consider the long pending demand of including cotton yarn exports under MEIS and IES schemes and also to consider the fact that fabric exports under RoSL that are essential to utilise highly capital and labour intensive surplus production capacities in the spinning, weaving, knitting and processing segments, he stated. The government could have considered the industry’s demand of GST free domestic procurement against EPCG and Advance Authorisation Scheme to boost exports under the mid-term review.
He hoped the government would soon announce enhanced duty drawback rates for all textiles taking into account all embedded/blocked levies and enable the exporters to continue to have the level of export competitiveness that they had under pre-GST era.