SPEECH OF MR. SUNEEL MOHNOT, DY.CHAIRMAN, WOOL INDUSTRY EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL(WOOLTEXPRO) AT THE 10TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING ON MONDAY, THE 24TH SEPTEMBER, 2012 AT THE GRAND SALON, GRAND HYATT MUMBAI.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome Office Bearers, COA Members, Members of the Wool Industry Export Promotion Council and Senior Officials of the Government of India to the 10th Annual General Meeting of the Wool Industry Export Promotion Council.
As we meet here, there are a number of important signals emanating from the economy. One that particularly requires attention and mention is the export performance of the country as a whole. The last numbers reported a fall of almost 15% - sharpest in the last three years. This was for the month of July, 2012. The exports amounted to 22.4 billion US Dollar. This development makes the national target of 315 billion US Dollar for the year 2012 difficult to achieve. The developments in US and Euro zone have led to a substantial fall in the demand for Indian products in general and for Indian Textiles in particular. In the absence of any noticeable mitigating factors on the international front, I am afraid; we may further see deterioration in the performance.
While the news on the international front is not so good, the situation for last many months is nothing encouraging even at the domestic front. This clearly reflected in the financial results of textile units. The question is are we justified in taking refuge in the world economic scenario and declining performance of many national economies to justify decline in our performance? The need of the hour is to arrest the losing momentum and work jointly to pep-up domestic sector and over all performance.
It is heartening to note that Hon’ble Minister of Textiles Sri Anand Sharma continues to be bullish on our global competitiveness for textiles and garments. Coming from him that Textile Industry is one of the major contributors to the national economy, both on domestic and international front, is indeed heartening. To further quote him, textile industry contributes 4% to the GDP, 14% to the manufacturing sector output and exports of over 34 billion US Dollar. Our industry being labour intensive generates direct and indirect employment to over 10 million workers. These numbers, while are of matter of a great pride, but at the same time put a huge responsibility on us for staying committed to further improve the numbers.
If the dream of inclusive growth is to be achieved, then textile industry has to play an important role. We must take pride in the fact that our industry forms an integral part of three basic requirement of the mankind i.e. “Roti, KAPADA, or Makaan”. We should, therefore, as an industry must rise to the occasion and become more competitive internationally and domestically.
There are reasons to believe that Govt. of India is generally taking right and adequate policy measures, including Export Promotion Schemes, to support the industry.
Considering that we are part of one of the fastest growing economies – current situation notwithstanding – textile industry must grow on both economic fronts i.e. domestic and international. In order to be in line with this objective, individual firms need to do many things. However, the two key pegs for such a growth would be (i) constant product innovation and (ii) diversification. This diversification must happen on product and market fronts both. The country’s performance in newer markets such as Latin America, Africa and some unexplored Asian countries bear testimony to this. The initial success from such efforts has, indeed, been heartening.
As a responsible EPC, we have been assisting concerned Ministries of the Govt. of India, by providing expert inputs, keeping in view the national and industry’s interest at par. Some of the notable ones are as follows:-
- Revision of duty drawback rates.
- Removal of requirement of import Animal Quarantine Clearance Certificate/NOC for all livestock products including wool.
- Exemption from Service Tax to export sector.
- Introduction of special benefits to export of branded products to encourage exporters in brand building which is a costly affair.
- Refund of State & Local Levies.
- Providing adequate database regarding imports and exports.
- Surveillance on imported clothing under preferential schemes of PTA, RTA and CECA in respect of Rules of Origin.
- Measures against counterfeit and spurious goods.
- Abolition of custom duty on raw wool and fine animal hair (Chapter 51.02)
- Abolition of basic custom duty on wool waste (Chapter 51.03) which is 10% currently along with woollen rags (Chapter 63.10) from 5% at present.
- Abolition of custom duty on wool tops of 15.5 micron and finer varieties(Chapter 51.05.29.10)
- Abolition of 10% basic custom duty on Nylon Staple Fibre (Chapter 55.06.10) and Polypropylene staple fibre (Chapter 55.03.40)
- Removal of ban on setting up of shoddy industry in SEZ/EOU areas, which appears in Para 7 of Appendix 14-1-C of Hand Book of Procedures so that the shoddy industry can flourish in the country.
Your EPC has also been constantly working at providing platform for individual firms to display and project their offerings. Continuing these efforts, Wooltexpro has submitted following proposals under MAI/MDA Scheme for the year 2012-13:
- India Textile Mega Show at Hungary
- India Textile Mega Show at Russia
- India Textile Mega Show at Mexico
- India Textile Mega Show at Brazil
- India Textile Mega Show at South Africa
- India Textile Mega Show at Panama
- India Textile Mega Show at Sweden
I take this opportunity to inform you that Wooltexpro won Gold Award from amongst over 950 participants in Tex Trends India 2012. This award was for the best stall for fibre, yarn & fabrics. The award was given away by the Minister of State for Textiles.
With the efforts of Wooltexpro, the 2% interest subvention scheme was extended till 31st March, 2013. The scope of this scheme has also been extended to cover labour intensive sectors such as ready made garments.
My colleague Mr. Mahesh N Sanil has already provided you details of the various efforts / initiatives of the Council.
I sincerely hope and believe that Wooltexpro will continue these efforts in meeting the industry expectation and interest. We pledge to work together all the times to come.
On behalf of WOOLTEXPRO, I am grateful to Sri Anand Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry and Textiles, Sri Pranab Mukherjee, the former Hon’ble Finance Minister, Sri P.Chidambaram, Hon’ble Finance Minister and Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi, Hon’ble Minister of State for Textiles, for their expert guidance and timely policy interventions / decisions in the interest of the wool and woollen textile industry.
I would like to put on record our sincere gratitude to Smt. Kiran Dhingra, Secretary Textiles, Sri S.R. Rao, Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Poojary, DGFT, Sri V. Srinivas, Jt. Secretary Exports, Smt. Sunaina Tomar Jt. Secretary (wool) Sri A.B. Joshi, Textile Commissioner and other Senior Officials of the Ministries of Textiles and Commerce for guiding us in finding solutions to various issues faced by the industry.
I wish to convey my sincere thanks to my colleagues Sri Surendra Goelji and Sri V.K. Bakshi, and COA Members for their unstinted support.
My special thanks to Mr. Mahesh N. Sanil, and all officers and staff of the council for their support.