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GEA President welcomes proposal to launch skill development programme
Mar '10
Expressing disappointment for lack of any special provision for the garment sector in budget proposals for 2010-11, Mr.Rakesh Vaid, President, Garments Exporters Association regretted that the finance minister did not include textiles and clothing industry while extending two per cent interest subvention for exports credits by one year.

"The budget has not given due consideration to various recommendations of the exporting community," said Mr Vaid. "The finance ministry should have appreciated the fact that labour-intensive garment export sector requires special consideration as it adds maximum value to the exported products using over 95 percent indigenous materials."

The textile and clothing Industry is second largest employment generated after agriculture with direct employment of 33 million people and indirect employment of 55 million people. Nearly half of seven million workers employed in the garment sector are engaged in exports. India exports garments worth 10 billion dollars (about Rs 46,000 crore) annually and ranks sixth worldwide. Mr Vaid said the budget also did not touch upon issues of India's cost competitiveness vis-a-vis neighbouring countries, specific concerns relating to high transaction costs, poor infrastructure and realistic duty drawback rates.

He further pointed out that the Budget should have provided the necessary exemption from service tax on all export related services to avoid blockage of capital of exporters, as the present procedure of first depositing and then claiming refund is time-consuming, resulting in unnecessary delays and harassment.

He further pointed out that increase in excise duty and prices of petroleum products will further increase the input and transaction cost of exporters who are still reeling under the impact of global economic slowdown.

However, Mr Vaid has welcomed the proposal to launch an extensive skill development programme by leveraging the strength of existing institutions to train three million workers in the next five years. He also appreciated the initiative to provide one time grant of Rs.200 crore to 20 Common Effluent Treatment Plant(CETP) installed by dyeing units in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu.

Garments Exporters Association

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