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India targets $48.5-billion textile and clothing exports

Aiming for an over 21 per cent rise in outbound shipments from the actual level of 2015-16, the government of India has fixed textile and clothing export target at $48.5 billion for the current fiscal, textile Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said. The country’s overall textile and garment exports remained almost flat at $40 billion in the last fiscal, said a senior textile ministry official. Still, the exports fell short of the official target of $45-47.5 billion for 2015-16.

With demand from China remaining tepid and recovery in the developed markets like the US and the EU still fragile, the ambitious shipment target for the current fiscal would be hard to achieve, especially in view of stiff competition from countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

According to official sources, for its part, the textile ministry has sought a quick resolution of the India-EU free trade agreement, which would pave the way for duty-free access of Indian textile and garment items to the EU, which account for over a third of the country’s garment exports.

Gangwar said the ministry has spent over Rs 6,500 crores on various schemes for the promotion and development of the textile sector. Roughly 5 lakh additional jobs have been created in the past two years in the textiles sector, he added.