Exports in the textile and apparel industry have increased about 41% in April-December 2021 over last year, the Ministry of Textiles said Wednesday. “During April-December, 2021 the total textiles & apparel, including handicrafts exports, was $29.8 billion as compared to $21.2 billion for the same period last year,” says the Ministry.

Compared to the pre-pandemic year, i.e., 2019-20, export for the textile sector (textiles and apparel including handicrafts) has increased by 14.6% from April-December 2021, as compared to April-December 2019. Specifically, textiles exports grew 31%, cotton yarn/ fabrics/ made-ups, handloom products 43%, and jute products 33% in April- December 2021 as compared to the same period in 2019-20. The robust growth signals an economic rebound, according to the Ministry of Textiles.

The government has envisioned a target of $44 billion for textiles and apparel exports, including handicrafts. Approximately 68% of the annual target has already been achieved.

“The last quarter of FY always has higher activity than the earlier quarters. Hence industry is hopeful that targets will be duly met,” the Ministry adds.

According to the ministry, the textile sector has continuously maintained trade surplus with exports manifold higher than imports. In FY 2020-21 there was a deceleration in textile exports, for the pandemic disrupted the global supply chain and deterred demand. In an address to the All India Textiles Association, Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister for Textiles, says that India can take up bigger and bolder targets — especially eclipsing the elusive target of $100 billion in textile exports.

Recently, the 46th meeting of the GST council deferred the increase of tax slab from 5% to 12% for textiles. In his address, Goyal thanked the Prime Minister and the finance minister for the deferment, and called it “a new year gift for the textile industry”. He also mentioned that the government is trying to get new markets for textiles through free trade agreements (FTA). Goyal also informed that ongoing negotiations are with major countries like the U.K., UAE, Canada, EU, Australia — where there is a special focus on getting concessional duties for textile products.

Late in December last year, the government also approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Textiles — with an approved outlay of ₹10,683 crore, over a five-year period. The scheme will promote production of man-made fabric (MMF) apparel, MMF fabrics and products of technical textiles in the country, and will increase the global footprint of India in the aforementioned products. The Government also started to accept online applications under the PLI Scheme for textiles from the new year.

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