The Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF) has recommended a slew of measures, 11 to be precise, to the Ministry of Textile (MoT), to ensure that South India’s textile industry can perform well.
Amongst these are forming a task force with strong representation from a regional manufacturing association so that short- and long-term solutions to various issues can be identified, periodic visit of the region by a senior officer from MoT and forming a separate task force to resolve the challenges.
Tamil Nadu contributes around 1/3rd of the total textile business in India.
The ITF, which represents more than 550 companies covering the entire textile value chain with a total annual turnover of Rs. 40,000 crore, came up with these recommendations based on an online survey of 320 textile companies in Coimbatore and the adjoining areas.
Some of its other recommendations include bringing a fibre-neutral policy (at a single and lower GST rate) for all textile materials, announcing a special scheme to promote large-scale apparel manufacturing and branding the sustainability factor of Indian textile industry.
The survey also identified various reasons for below-par performance of the textile industry, foremost amongst which are India’s increased manufacturing cost and non-competitiveness vis-à-vis other low-cost countries in low-value products; major focus on only 3-4 markets where India is unable to compete in terms of price points with countries that have FTAs (like Bangladesh); industry’s inability to catch up in terms of manufacturing efficiency and labour shortage.
It is pertinent to mention here that factory efficiency levels in India are at least 30 per cent lower than the countries it competes with.
Tamil Nadu’s textile and apparel industry in particular is facing acute manpower shortage amidst higher rate of attrition, which is further impacting the factories’ overall efficiency, as new workers often need training and time to reach the required level of productivity.
“The Government has supported our industry with two special packages to the tune of more than Rs. 7,000 crore along with other initiatives like that of ease of doing business. Even then, India’s textile and apparel export volume is not growing on par with the competing countries. Keeping this in view, we did the survey and shared results and recommendations in details with the MoT so that the industry can grow further,” said Prabhu Dhamodharan, Convenor, ITF.