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SIMA urges for withdrawal of import duty on cotton


Ashwin Chandran, Chairman, The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), has appealed to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to withdraw the 5 per cent BCD and 5 per cent AIDC with applicable cess on cotton imports to avoid severe detrimental impact on the high value-added segments, help garments and home textile exporters maintain competitiveness.

Chandran said, the cotton segment provides jobs to around 12 lakh people. It has taken over a decade for the Indian textile industry to build market share in this segment and the imposition of import duty will erode competitiveness of exporters in countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Vietnam. Though the import duty might fetch the government an additional Rs 360 crores revenue per annum but the government will lose annual GST revenues of around Rs 1,800 crore. The import duty will also not benefit Indian cotton farmers owing to negligible volume of imports and the non-availability of speciality cottons in India at the moment, Chandran added.