Apparel Export Promotion Council organised Export Excellence Award and Lifetime Achievement Award, here on 22nd February evening.
Shri Anand Sharma, Hon’ble Minister for Commerce, Industry & Textiles, Government of India was the Chief Guest. Speaking on the occasion Shri Sharma congratulated the exporters and said, “Apparel symbolizes the main driver for entire textile value chain. The importance of the sector lies in ensuring the preservation of traditional crafts and modern skills coupled with mixing the same with buyers’ behavior.
“Its economic importance can be attributed to its high employment potential, moderate capital investment, high value addition, and potential to earn foreign exchange. The apparel sector provides employment to an estimated 11.22 million workers, which mainly come from weaker section including women.”
Mrs. Zohra Chatterji, Secretary Textiles was the Guest of Honour. Shri S.R. Rao, Commerce Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Shri Anup K. Pujari, DGFT, Shri V. Srinivas, Joint Secretary (Exports), Ministry of Textiles was also present on the occasion.
Dr. A Sakthivel Chairman AEPC in his address said, “Government vision of doubling the exports is our mission. AEPC has put up an ambitious plan for increasing the garment exports to US $ 30 billion in 3 years by allowing import of speciality fabric, which are not widely available in India.
"In this regard, we have submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Textiles for reducing the custom duty at a flat rate of 5% on selected speciality manmade fibre and cotton fabrics for re-export purpose on a trial basis. Our proposal has received a very positive response during my meetings with Cabinet Secretary, Commerce Secretary, Textile Secretary and DGFT.”
In fact, we have taken on board other Export Promotion Councils for framing our proposal. I am told that it may take some time. Thus I have requested that in order to take early advantage, duty credit scrip @ 5%, for offsetting import duty on import of such fabric on actual user basis and on non-transferable basis be issued. This is a special request from the industry to boost garment exports in short time, he added.
Chairman AEPC in his speech remarked, “The whole industry knows that you are working very hard for immediate finalization of FTA between India and EU. The industry is waiting this to happen so that new opportunities may be captured by us.
"It is very heartening to note that you yourself have met CEOs and Presidents of various major brands in European Union for bringing FDI in our country. This is for the first time that the Textile Minister has reached to our potential buyers himself and is taking a lot of pains for our industry.”
Chairman also demanded a separate chapter for export sector so that we can get cheaper export credit. And requested the Minister for the export benefits announced in the year 2012-13 in FTP may be extended for the period 2013-14 since market conditions have not improved.