Chinese sweaters, caps, pullovers, sweaters, children’s dresses, mufflers, and blankets are flooding Ludhiana, the hosiery capital of India. They look stylish, attractive and have a large variety of designs and cheap pricing, which make them popular among buyers. These Chinese hosiery items are priced around 15 to 20 per cent lower than locally made products.
It’s estimated that these Chinese imports have occupied around 20 per cent of the market. If an Indian cap costs Rs 400, a China-made cap costs around Rs 300. There are several reasons for the increasing share of such goods in the market. First, they are of better quality due to high class machinery. Also the Chinese government promotes technological advancements. If industrialists in Ludhiana want to install high-tech machines, they have to pay an interest of 10 to 13 per cent. In Japan they pay three per cent. But in China, the loan is interest-free. The industry in Ludhiana wants similar schemes that will promote it and enable it to flourish.
It’s estimated that Chinese products could have a much higher share in the cities of coastal India like Chennai, due to less freight charges. About 85 to 90 per cent of the demand of the woolen market in India is met by Ludhiana. Most of these units are small- and medium-sized.