Tirupur: In a worrying trend garment and knitwear exports continues to decline since 2017 from the ‘dollar city’. This has prompted the Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) to press for immediate remedial measures from the Central and State governments to improve the competitiveness of the sector and bring back knitwear exports on the growth trajectory.
The 28th annual general body meeting of TEA was convened in Tirupur on Saturday. After the meeting, president Raja M Shanmugam said, “the total readymade garments exports from India clocked Rs 1,07,679 crore in 2017 - 18 compared to Rs 1,16,508 crore achieved in the previous year of 2016-17.
All India knitwear exports in 2017-18 declined to Rs 51,526 crore against Rs 55,150 crore recorded in 2016-17 with a negative growth of seven per cent. During this period, he said that Tirupur knitwear exports also came down from Rs 26,000 crore to Rs 24,000 crore and its share was also more or less maintained at the same level of 46.58 per cent.
He noted that the most worrying factor last financial year was the continuous decline of exports since October 2017 after the three-month GST transition period till March 2018. “During this period from October to March in 2017-18, knitwear exports declined by 21 per cent from Rs 28,100 crore in the corresponding period in the previous year 2016-17, to Rs 22,317 crore - an unprecedented fall,” the TEA chief added.
Knitwear industrialists expected exports to pick up at least from the beginning of the current fiscal 2018-19. However, in the first four months of the current year, total knitwear exports came down to Rs 16,732 crore against Rs 19,182 crore clocked for the corresponding months in 2017-18, a negative growth of 13 per cent.
According to him, the impact on exports after implementation of GST and consequent reduction in duty drawback and rebate of state levies (ROSL) is quite evident from the continuous decline in exports. He suggested that sliding exports could be brought back to the growth trajectory only by enhancing our competitiveness.
“We have been requesting government to come out with early solutions like increase in duty drawback rate to be competitive. It should be continued till a level playing field is attained after free trade agreement and other agreements with other countries,” he added....