Apparel sector employs around 1.1 crore persons out of which it is estimated that 70% are women.

As per the data of Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, export of apparel has increased by 2% from Rs 102,943 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 112,701 crore in 2018-19.

To increase competitiveness of textile industry, Government announced a Special Package for garments and made-ups sectors. The package offers Rebate of State Levies (RoSL), labour law reforms, additional incentives under Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) and relaxation of Section 80JJAA of Income Tax Act.

The RoSL scheme has been replaced by the new RoSCTL (Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies) scheme w.e.f 7thMarch 2019. The rates under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) have been enhanced from 2% to 4% for garment. Assistance is also provided to exporters under Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme.

Government has enhanced interest equalization rate for pre and post shipment credit for exports done by MSMEs of textile sector from 3% to 5% w.e.f. 02.11.2018. Benefits of Interest Equalization Scheme has been extended to merchant exporters from 02.01.2019 which was earlier limited to only manufacturer exporters.

Looking at the seasonal nature of the industry, fixed term employment was introduced by the Government under the Special Package. A fixed term workman is now considered at par with permanent workman in terms of working hours, wages, allowances and other statutory dues. Further, the provision of 240 days under Section 80JJAA of Income Tax Act was also relaxed to 150 days for garment industry by the Government under the Special Package.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.