In a recent move to scuttle the sourcing of cheap imports from Bangladesh, the Texpreneurs Federation held a detailed discussion with the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. The members of the Federation urged the Union Government to intervene immediately and ensure that the local textile value chain is not damaged further owing to cheap imports affected by the textile industry from Bangladesh.

It may be recalled that Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India have a free trade agreement. The worrying aspect about this pact is that China, which has a special equation with Bangladesh textile industry and has invested heavily in the garment sector, would avail of this pact to flood the Indian textile industry with cheap goods. Members of the federation pointed out to the government that unrestrained import from Bangladesh will seriously damage the Indian textile value chain which will be unable to compete with such cheap imports backed by low labour costs.

In view of this, there has been an unanimous demand from the federation and industry big wigs for hike in import tariff of textile related goods to protect the local textile industry. Ever since the GST regime came into being, the industry has been trying to force the government on the back foot over tariffs for textile imports. The government on its part has not been able to come out with a clear cut policy on import restrictions with pressure mounting up due to India being a signatory to WTO agreements.