Anand Sharma honours exporters
New Delhi, Feb 23 : Union Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma presented Apparel Export Promotion Council's (AEPC) Export Excellence Award and Lifetime Achievement Award here.
Chief Guest Sharma, while speaking during the occasion on Friday, said: "Apparel symbolises the main driver for the entire textile value chain. The importance of the sector lies in ensuring the preservation of traditional crafts and modern skills coupled with mixing the same with buyers' behaviour."
He further said its economic importance can be attributed to its high employment potential, moderate capital investment, high value addition, and potential to earn foreign exchange.
"The apparel sector provides employment to an estimated 11.22 million workers, which mainly come from weaker section including women," said Sharma.
A Sakthivel, Chairman, AEPC, while delivering his address, put stress on the fact that the government's vision of doubling the exports is the council's mission.
"AEPC has put up an ambitious plan for increasing the garment exports to USD 30 billion in three years by allowing import of speciality fabric, which is not widely available in India. In this regard we have submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Textiles for reducing the custom duty at a flat rate of five per cent on selected speciality manmade fibre and cotton fabrics for re-export purpose on a trial basis," he said.
"Our proposal has received very positive response during my meetings with Cabinet Secretary, Commerce Secretary, Textile Secretary and DGFT."
He also said they have taken on board other Export Promotion Councils for framing the proposal.
"I am told that it may take some time. Thus I have requested that in order to take early advantage, duty credit scrip @ 5 per cent, for offsetting import duty on import of such fabric on actual user basis and on non-transferable basis be issued. This is a special request from the industry to boost garment exports in short time," he said.
He also thanked the Textile Ministry for the major announcements made for the textile industry, which includes 2 per cent interest subvention scheme on readymade garment sector which has been extended up to March 2014; 2 per cent Market Linked Focus Product Scheme for USA and European Union which has been extended up to March 31, 2013 for readymade garment sector; continuation of TUF scheme, among others.
Zohra Chatterji, Secretary Textiles was the Guest of Honour during the event.
S R Rao, Commerce Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Anup K Pujari, DGFT, V. Srinivas, Joint Secretary (Exports), Ministry of Textiles were also present on the occasion.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rajendra J Hinduja.