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Indian PM urged to keep textile sector out of RCEP

Oct '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Power loom weavers and textile workers from Surat in Gujarat and Bhiwandi in Maharashtra have started sending postcards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to keep the textile sector out of the ambit of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The postcards say RCEP will harshly affect the power loom sector and render thousands jobless.

RCEP is being negotiated currently in Bangkok by 16 nations. The Federation of Gujarat Weavers’ Welfare Association (FOGWA) said more than 50,000 weavers and workers from Bhiwandi and Surat have started sending such postcards, according to a report in a top English-language daily.

Cheap fabrics from China, Vietnam and Bangladesh would be dumped in the country, resulting in closure of small and medium weaving units. India has proposed inclusion of the textile industry under RCEP, allowing free import of polyester fabrics from China, Bangladesh and Vietnam along with other South East Asian nations.

FOGWA and the Federation of Indian Art Silk Weaving Industry (FIASWI) had made a representation to the commerce ministry last month demanding imposition of import duty on Chinese fabrics to protect small and medium enterprises in Surat.

FOGWA stated that import of heavily under-invoiced fabrics from China has crossed ₹5,500 crore mark in the last one year. The imported fabrics are heavily under-invoiced and could be worth ₹10,000 crore.

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November 2019

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