The Indian Textiles and Garments (T&G) sector has envisioned a long-term growth plan to attain a market size of US$ 115 bn, an export target of US$ 60 billion so that it can achieve a global market share of 9% (from the present share of 4%) in 2011-12 by attaining an annual growth rate of 16%. But, the average annual growth rate recorded for Textiles sector as per the IIP (total textiles) data during the period 2004-05 to 2007-08 is only 8.35%. However, the growth rates for import and export of yarns during 2006-07 have recorded 15.2% and 55.7% respectively as compared to the previous year, while the average growth rates in imports and exports of yearn for the period 2003-04 to 2006-07 were 10.8% and 29.13% respectively, indicating heterogeneous trends in the fibre scenario of the country. But, as per estimates, the projected additional requirement of fibre during 2011-12 is about 4,194 Million Kg. as compared to 2006-07. Thus, it is evident that there are intrinsic issues to be resolved in the fibre front for augmenting the production performance of the value added segments of the textiles value chain.

Natural fibre sector of India requires special attention, especially cotton, silk, jute, wool and other non-conventional fibres including banana. Concerted interventions may be required both from the industry in terms of augmenting investment and from the Government side in terms of support mechanisms both fiscal and non-fiscal to attain growth. This would result in increasing fibre availability so that the ambitious growth target for the T&G sector can be achieved. Hence, it is imperative to have a long-term vision and a structured approach to the fibre sector so that the envisioned production of textile items across the textiles value chain can be attained.

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The author is Chief Advisor, Chetana Society