It is indeed a privilege for me to welcome you all to the SRTEPC Annual award function 2017-18. This is our old tradition, wherein we recognise the achievers of the year amongst our outstanding and enterprising members. I and my team congratulate all the award winners for their excellent and tenacious efforts to boost our exports and hope they will continue their efforts in the coming years too. Today, I am also encouraging those who missed the awards this year and look forward to see them as winners next year. We need concentrated efforts from all of you my fellow exporters to continue the good work and earn substantial export revenue for the country.

For the Council it is a journey of 63 years of service to the industry and nation. I must thank each of the stakeholders – Members, COA members, past Chairmen, and the Government who has given direction, guidance and encouragement in this long journey.

This time, Council confers the Life Time Achievement Award to Shri Ganesh Kumar Guptaji, our past Chairman and President of FIEOnow, for his sincere and unstinting service to the industry. My heartiest congratulations to Shri Ganesh Kumar Guptaji.

Demand for man-made fibre (MMF) textiles all over the world is increasing as main raw material amid changes in global fashion trends. Currently MMF dominates global textile fibre consumption with 70: 30 ratio i.e., MMF 70% and 30% is Natural fibre, whereas it is just opposite in India.

In India present consumption of MMF is below 40%. This means that India has strong growth potential.

We are one of the largest producers of man-made fibres (MMF) textiles in the world with present production of over 1441 million kg of man-made fibres and over 3000 million kg of man-made filaments. Over 23000 million sq. mtr. of fabrics were produced from Man-made fibres and their blends. Major varieties of fibres and filament yarns are polyester, viscose, nylon, acrylic and polypropylene.

We are the 2nd largest producer of polyester and viscose.

On our export front, current financial year has been encouraging for us. Exports have been witnessing steady growth since 2016-17 and last year exports were to the tune of US$ 6.03 billion witnessing a growth around 3% as compared to the previous year. As per provisional data, during April-November 2018-19, exports were US$ 4.07 against US$ 3.99 million during the same period of the previous year, showing a growth of nearly 2%.

The Ministry of Textiles has given us an export target of US$ 6.5 billion for the current Financial Year. So far during April – November 2018; 63% of the export target has been achieved. I am confident that with concerted efforts of all we will be able to achieve the target.

Friends, you all are aware about the vision of the government for enhancing size of the Textile industry to USD 350 billion by 2024-25 from USD 110 billion at present. To achieve this textile vision, present domestic fibre base has to be doubled to minimum 20 bn. kgs. Natural fibres have inherent limitations and can be increased marginally. Manmade fibre & filaments such as Polyester, Viscose, Nylon, and Acrylic are the only available alternative to create another 7- 9 billion kgs of fibre and achieving this Vision by 2024-25.

It will also require Annual Additional investment @ US$ 30 bn. for 7 years which converts to Annual additional investment of around Rs. 210,000 crores apart from the Rs. 50000 crores, required for sustenance of the existing capacity. An estimated employment of about 2.1 million persons p.a. at the rate of minimum 20 persons per crore rupees of investment will be generated by the MMF textile segment.

There are challenges before the Manmade fibre textile segment. This segment has been used as a major source for revenue generation. It has been kept under different tax slabs in the GST regime which has created Inverted Duty Structure due to which huge working capital has been blocked. It has also deprived the MMF textile segment from availing rebate on GST paid on input services and IGST paid on import of capital goods. Double Taxation on Ocean freight in GST regime is additional burden on the exporters.     

While our exports are grappling with these challenges, imports have been increasing into India. Imports of MMF textiles such as fibres, yarns and fabrics into India from world during 2017-18 was over US$ 2000 million of which from China alone was around US$ 1000 million which is 50% of our total imports of MMF textiles. SRTEPC has been briefing this concern to the Government at various forums.

The Ministry of Textiles, has been giving us wholehearted support for our issues of concern. Madam, I record my deep appreciation for all the support. I am confident that respected Madam will recommend and take up the above issues also with Ministry of Finance for according favourable orders.  

While the industry needs to do its best to fight competition, we need government support to supplement our efforts. China provides substantial government support and this needs to be matched in India also for development of the Indian MMF textile industry.

My fellow exporters, the present scenario is of both opportunities and challenges. Our exports are not growing as desired. There are ample opportunities to increase our exports globally and capture a higher share in world textile trade. Most of our exports are of value added items like fabrics and made ups which accounts for nearly 60 % in our export basket. We need to increase export of this segment to earn more foreign exchange and generate more employment. We are the leader in production polyester and viscose which are the raw materials for these value added MMF products. This is the time to be united and work together in coordination.  I am confident that the aggressive export promotion activities of the Council in new and emerging markets will give thrust to our efforts. I request you all to come forward and take responsibilities in this endeavour and then certainly we could take exports to greater heights.  I once again thank the Ministry for all the excellent policy initiatives and support.