New Delhi: The government has set a target of USD 45 billion exports from the country's textile and garment sector in 2017-18, lower than the USD 48 billion set for the last fiscal which was missed by a huge margin.
The country's overall textiles and garments exports during 2015-16 stood at USD 40 billion, mainly because of less demand in major markets such as the US, EU and China, and stiff competition it faced from countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh, which enjoy an edge over India.
"We have set a target of USD 45 billion for textiles and garment exports in the current fiscal," a top official told PTI.
Besides, the textiles ministry plans to unveil a package for the knitwear sector, which is grappling with enormous financial stress due to lack of automation leading to much lower productivity than countries like China.
"We will announce a big package for the knitwear industry which is facing several challenges in the next one month or so," Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said while addressing a press conference here.
However, Irani did not provide a timeline for the unveiling of the much-awaited new National Textiles Policy. The minister also said that roadshows have been held in six countries including the UK, US, China, Russia, South Korea and UAE to attract the industry and potential investors for the textiles India event, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar on June 30.
The three-day mega event plans to showcase India as a global sourcing hub and will be attended by several Union ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Irani, and provide a platform to connect and collaborate with global manufacturers, investors and buyers in the textiles sector.
Asked about violation of norms by some special purpose vehicles operating in textile parks and a report commissioned by the textiles ministry concluding that the Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) has failed to achieve its objectives, Irani said if violations come to light, "the office of the Textiles Commissioner takes positive or punitive steps to ensure that there is no anomaly or transgression".
She said the Textiles Commissioner's Office has confirmed that around Rs 3,000 crore have been approved as additional investments in the apparel segment, which will generate more employment in the entire sector.
The government in June 2016 had approved a Rs 6,006 crore special package for textiles and apparel sector to create one crore new jobs in 3 years, attracting investments of USD 11 billion and generating USD 30 billion in exports.
The minister informed that funds to the tune of over Rs 1,900 crore have been given to the apparel industry under the rebate of state levies to boost exports from the sector.
Besides, she said under the Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rozgar Protsahan Yojana, over 1.4 lakh workers have registered themselves for provident fund.