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Extend anti-dumping duty on Chinese raw silk – ASSOCHAM
04
Apr '14
Batting for domestic silk producers, apex industry body ASSOCHAM recommended extension of anti-dumping duty on imports of raw silk from China till December 2015 in order to boost India’s raw silk production.
 
“India's silk industry is an employment oriented sector as it provides jobs to over 7.6 million people across 51,000 villages operating over 3.28 lakh handlooms and over 45,800 powerlooms with over 8.14 lakh weavers,” noted a study titled ‘Future of Indian Silk Industry,’ conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
 
In January 2003, Government of India had imposed an antidumping duty on imports of Mulberry Raw Silk (not thrown) of 2A grade and below from China which remained in force until January 2008 and was subsequently extended till January 2014 after a sunset review.
 
“Clocking compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about eight per cent, India’s total silk imports have increased from over $124 million in 2000-01 to about $312 million 2012-13 with raw silk alone comprising for about 73 per cent of these imports worth over $227 million,” highlighted the ASSOCHAM study.
 
China is biggest exporter of raw silk to India accounting for almost 99 per cent of exported raw silk worth $224.5 million as of 2012-13, highlighted the study carried out by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB). “Raw silk imports from China have grown at over seven per cent CAGR during 2000-01 and 2012-13.”
 
Consumption of raw silk in India is likely to rise together with growth in per-capita income which rose from Rs 24,143 in 2004-05 to Rs 39,961 in 2013-14 and also due to increase in consumption expenditure on clothing, it added.
 
“Supply shortages is the prime issue being faced by Indian silk industry (weaving in particular) as there is a shortfall of over 5,000 metric tonnes (MT) resulting in dependence on silk imports to fulfill domestic needs,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the chamber’s study.
 
“Silk import restrictions have two facets; one is concern of sericulture farmers opposing cheap Chinese raw silk imports threatening their livelihood, while the other issue is of the weaving community which requires raw silk to meet the rising demand,” said Mr Rawat. “Thus there is a need to strike a balance between the two warring sections of the industry by periodically reviewing the import policy for raw silk taking into account balanced interests of both sericulturists and export manufacturers.”

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