Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met representatives of the textile industry in Chennai recently and discussed measures needed to revive the sector. A common demand of the industry was structural changes in the man-made fibre (MMF) sector, according to Prabhu Dhamodharan, Convener of Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF), who took part in the meeting.

The need to remove anti-dumping duty on MMF and rationalising goods and services tax (GST) for this segment was conveyed to the Minister, according to a report. While India is competitive in the international market for several cotton products, it is not so for MMF products. Another demand placed by the industry was extension of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (ROSCTL) schemes—now available to garments and made-ups—to yarn and fabric as well.

The ITF also urged the government to come out with a system to bring multinational brands to the manufacturing clusters and engage them directly with the suppliers. That will help reduce imports, Dhamodharan said. The industry also demanded multi-skilling facilities in Tiruppur. The Minister urged the industry to be prepared to face phasing out of schemes not compatible with the World Trade Organisation.

The Open-end Spinning Mills’ Association said that because of the China-US trade war, the export of nearly 200 containers of open end yarn to China has stopped in the last five months. There are raw material challenges for open-end spinners as well. The GST on recycled PET polyester fibre should be reduced to 12 per cent from 18 per cent, the industry suggested.