Apparel exports from India dropped by 3.83 per cent to $16.716 bn in April-March 2017-18, compared to exports of $17.382 bn in fiscal 2016-17, according to data from (DGCIS). March 2018 showed fall of 17.78 per cent y-o-y. In March 2018, India’s readymade garment exports were to the tune of $1.491 bn as against exports of $1.813 bn in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal. In rupee terms, exports during the month stood at Rs. 9,694.68 cr as against Rs. 11,946.37 cr in March 2017, registering a decline of 18.85 per cent.
At the same time, apparel manufacturing is also clearly in recession as the latest production figures show a decline of 4.7 per cent. This is the tenth straight monthly decline in apparel production. These figures clearly show that apparel exports are not only stagnating but are heading towards recession.
India’s textiles and apparel industry faces a big threat from rising imports due to the removal of countervailing duty and special additional duty in the GST regime. Several unresolved issues like the reduction in duty drawback and RoSL after the imposition of GST, capital blockage due to slow GST refunds and uncertainties on the future of export subsidies have affected industry.
While India is struggling with the problem of stagnation in exports, countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam are showing a consistent growth in their apparel exports due to tariff advantages. The $45 bn target for 2017-18 is likely to be missed by Indian textile and garment exporters, which stood at $37.25 bn in the calendar year 2017. The sector expects the government to at least partially compensate the industry in the interim period.