Suffering due to the acute shortage of viscose staple fibre (VSF) and extra-long staple (ELS) cotton, the Indian textiles and apparel industry has urged for immediate support from the Central Government in this regard.

Ashwin Chandran, Chairman, The Southern Indian Mills’ Association (SIMA), has also urged for immediate intervention of the Prime Minister in the matter regarding removal of both anti-dumping duty on VSF and also the withdrawal of 10 per cent import duty on cotton.

Both are high value-added market segments that account to around Rs. 1,50,000 crore business size and employ over two million people, fetch GST revenue of Rs. 5,000 crore and  forex earnings to the tune of Rs. 75,000 crore apart from catering to the value-added segments.

It is pertinent to mention here that the industry has been pleading to the Government to remove anti-dumping duty of US $ 0.103 to 0. 512 per kg imposed on the VSF during the last several years, which is under active consideration.

“VSF and superfine cotton value chain supplies to the international brands, who have set up retails in the domestic market and the price crisis is being utilised as an opportunity by the neighboring countries like Bangladesh and, therefore, imports have started looming large,” he said.

It is also pertinent to mention here that out of 40 MMF products identified by the Ministry of Textiles under PLI Scheme, 18 products are made out of VSF and its blended fibers.

The capacity utilisation of the spinning and power loom clusters in Erode alone has been affected to the tune of 30 per cent and, therefore, the industry cannot wait till the sunset review and needs withdrawal of the anti-dumping duty immediately.