INDIA: HLCM to solve textile industry problems

NEW DELHI: The High Level Committee on Manufacturing (HLCM) under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister, while considering the Action Plan of the Ministry of Textiles for the growth of textile industry, inter alia, decided that the Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the Ministry of Textiles and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), would expeditiously consider the fiscal proposals required for the textiles sector.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Textiles, Shri E.V.K.S. Elangovan, in the Rajya Sabha today.

Consequently, the Government announced a set of measures in July, 2007 to provide relief to exporters by way of accelerated reimbursement of dues to exporters, reduction in the interest rate on pre-shipment and post-shipment credit and revision in drawback rates and Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) rates. In addition, the Government has also notified exemption of certain service tax in respect of exporters, the Minister added.

The Minister further informed that a meeting was recently taken by the NMCC with the officials of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Textiles, where representatives from Textiles industry associations were also present, on issues relating to restoring competitiveness in the Textiles & Garment Sector. Finance Minister also took a meeting with the Textile industry along with the officials of the Ministry of Textiles, the NMCC and the Ministry of Finance. The Government has announced a relief package in November, 2007, which reduces basic Customs Duty on certain items relating to textiles sector. Refund of service tax paid by exporters on taxable services linked to exports has been further extended. A support package for providing relief to export sectors, like Textiles, which have low import intensity, was also announced through additional subvention of 2% in pre-shipment and post-shipment credit to the textiles including Ready Made Garments and carpets but excluding man-made fibre.

The Minister also informed that some new initiatives taken by the Government for the growth of textile sector, inter alia, include creation of Investment Regions to consolidate the phenomenon of agglomeration, visible in textiles to further reduce transaction costs and enhance competitiveness; launching of Manpower Development Scheme - known as the "Neighbourhood Apparel & Textile Training Institutes for Job Assurance (NATIJA)" - for establishing a network of employment-linked training facilities to meet the projected demand of 4 million trained workers over the next 5 years; and to revitalize handloom cooperatives on the pattern of agricultural cooperatives. Necessary action in this regard has since been initiated in consultation with the Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance, etc.

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Added: December 6, 2007 Source: Agencies
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