Claiming that Bangladesh is facilitating backdoor entry of Chinese textiles into India, representatives from the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Thursday met Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani and sought her intervention for introducing protectionist measures to safeguard the local industry.
“In the pre-GST era, import of garments from Bangladesh was attracting countervailing duty (CVD) and education cess. However, in the post-GST scenario, there is no cost of import of garments from Bangladesh. This unilateral duty-free market access given to Bangladesh, is actually facilitating backdoor entry of Chinese textiles into India, which needs to be curbed by introducing some protectionist measures such as imposition of anti-dumping duty,” stated a list of 15 suggestions made to the Union minister in Delhi.
Quoting figures from Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh, GCCI pointed out that India imported USD 87.4 million worth of ready-made garments from Bangladesh during July-November 2017, which was a sharp rise of 56 per cent compared to USD 55.92 million during the same period the previous year. Knitted apparel imports from Bangladesh rose by 69 per cent, while women apparel imports grew by 51 per cent.
“The suggestions made today were for the Centre’s proposed textile policy,” said Meena Kaviya, chairperson of the textile committee of the GCCI who was among those who met Irani. Pictures of the meeting shared by the GCCI also showed Anarben Patel, daughter of Madhya Pradesh Governor and former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel. Anar is a member of the textile committee of the GCCI.
Among other measures, the members also recommended the government to introduce measures to counter China “which has been selling organic fibres”.
“We need to develop and promote our cotton fibre as green fibre which is manufactured through environment friendly methods and zero discharge processes,” GCCI members stated.
The chamber also sought a “single national policy for the textile sector”. “This will prevent unnecessary undercutting within the country due to variable policies and would be vital in building and promoting our national brand for textiles in the global markets,” the recommendations stated.