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The need of the time is to accelerate manufacturing: K S Rao

New Delhi, Jan 20 (KNN) Raising concern over the dimensions of sliding domestic growth, rising input cost and slowdown in manufacturing and employment generation, Textile Minister K S Rao said that the need of the time is to accelerate manufacturing which in turn will spur growth and exports.

Rao said this while addressing the inauguration of 4th edition of Tex-Trends India – 2014 here today.

Tex-Trends India - 2014 is one of Asia’s largest textile shows covering apparel, fashion jewellery and accessories; home furnishing, yarns, threads and fabrics, silk, synthetic, rayon and cotton textiles and jute garments, etc. The objective is to showcase textiles trends that are emerging and shaping up in India.

The Minister raising concerns on the macroeconomic risks facing the Indian economy which have increased during the last six months said, “Current account deficit and its non- disruptive financing have emerged as major challenges.  Need of the time is to accelerate manufacturing which in turn will spur growth and exports.  Apparel exports industry is primarily a Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector contributing to 40 per cent of our exports, 17 per cent of our GDP and employs around 60 million people.”

In his inaugural address, Rao stated, “It is indeed heartening to know that garment exports have been sustainably growing at the rate of 15 per cent since the last nine months.”

Against a backdrop of worrisome global and domestic macroeconomic developments, Chairman Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), pressed for 5 per cent duty credit scrip for the import of specialty fabrics not available in India on actual user basis. He also sought a separate chapter for exports in the banking sector for availability of easy credit to the industry.

“These two demands have tremendous potential to boost exports,” said Chairman AEPC Virendar Uppal and asked to provide more concessions by raising the limit of 5 to 10 per cent and from 10 to 20 per cent for small and medium industries respectively.

“Apparel sector alone engages around 11.2 million workers and contributes almost 50 per cent of the entire textiles exports, it has the latent potential to absorb more people, therefore focusing on this sector is extremely important,” he said.

“The entire value chain has been brought under the ambit by organizing Tex Trends. Fiber, Fabric, Fashion, accessories, etc will be brought under the single platform for manufacturer, traders and exporters. It will act as an exclusive rostrum for brand promotion, networking and business opportunity for national and international textile industries to show its visibility of the entire textile Industry,” he added.

Rao in his speech underlined, “I am very happy that the 4th Tex Trends India is expected to do brisk business. I would urge AEPC to target more buyers from the countries where markets have not been tapped so far.” 

Secretary Textiles, Zohra Chatterji, in her address said that, “It is important for us to understand the opportunities available and its importance to fulfil our needs which can help us realize the true potential of the apparel exports in India.”

Apparel exports have grown at the rate of over 15 per cent during April-December, 2013.  The data for the month of December 2013- 14 shows apparel exports was to the tune of USD 1244 million registering an increase of 17.4 per cent against the corresponding month of last financial year.

Cumulative export in for April-December 2013-14 has increased by 16.3 per cent over the same period of previous FY and reached to USD 10,555.