The Government of India has raised the textiles, including apparel, export target for the ongoing fiscal year 2013-14 to US$ 43 billion, from the earlier US$ 36 billion, Minister of State for Textiles, Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament.
The Minister said the Government has raised the export target following discussions with textiles export promotion councils in the backdrop of rupee depreciation and strong industry performance.
In the fiscal year 2012-13, India’s overall textile exports stood at US$ 31.71 billion, of which the apparel exports contributed US$ 12.923 billion.
Last fiscal, India’s textiles and clothing exports were severely affected due to economic downturn in major markets, including the US and European Union, which account for 65 percent of the country’s total textile exports.
“The Ministry of Textiles has mooted a proposal for amendments in Factories Act 1948, seeking amendments in Section 59 – Extra Wages for Overtime and Section 64 – Power to Make Exempting Rules to provide for Over Time Wages at the rate of one-one quarter times of the regular rate and that the cap of 50 hours a quarter should be removed for textiles sector,” the Minister informed.
In 2007, the High Level Committee on Manufacturing Competitiveness (HLCMC) considered amendments in labor laws for enhancing competitiveness of textiles industry. In 2005, the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2005 seeking amendments under Section 66 of the Factories Act was introduced in Parliament on August 16, 2005. However, amendments under the Factories Act of 1948 were not undertaken.