India’s apparel export has shown a decline of 22.76 per cent for the month of April 2018 as against the corresponding month of April 2017, as per the latest trade data. In April 2018, the Indian RMG exports were to the tune of $1.34 bn as against the corresponding month of previous year, when the exports was $1.74 bn. In rupee terms, export for the Month of April 2018 was Rs. 8,859.67 cr as against Rs. 11,272.24 cr in April 2017, showing a decline of 21.40 per cent.
Last year, the industry witnessed a strong growth but now the exports are in a negative territory since October due to a declining trend in the global apparel industry. The high base effect has been due to the release of RoSL amount during April 2017 but the continued backlog in GST and RoSL is affecting the sentiments. Industry has been demanding for an early resolution of the issues.
However, industry has welcomed the extension of MEIS scheme on garments & made ups beyond June 2018. The extension in MEIS scheme will be a breather and sanction of request to ensure that all embedded, non-reimbursed Central and State levies be refunded, which will help in restoring the competitiveness of Indian exports.
Moreover, the country needs to relax labour laws and enhance incentives in order to become the preferred sourcing destination in textiles sector, as per a report submitted to the government. The study, suggested strengthening the eco-system for textile exports, integrating fragmented textile value chain and investing in skill upgradation as measures needed to boost India’s sourcing potential.
The poor State of roads and connectivity around weaver hubs have led to reduced number of personal visits by buyers, leading to greater dependence on buying agents. Moreover, the high import cost of latest machines deters many small manufacturers from upgrading to the latest technology, thereby contributing to compromises on quality.
I think with timely intervention of the government, things should improve in next two-three months.