AEPC urges government to remove cotton import duty in budget
The Apparel Export Promotion Council has requested the government to scrap import duty on cotton in its upcoming Union budget in order to give clothing exports a boost.
“We need to stop import duty on raw cotton,” the AEPC’s chairman Narendra Goenka told Asian News International in an interview. “It is our major demand because raw material prices in India are very high. Cotton prices have gone up by almost 70-80% in the last one year. A solution could be the removal of 11% import duty on cotton. So that the mills can import cotton at lower prices.”
“Cotton and yarn prices have gone up by 70-80% and that is creating hurdles for garment exports,” said Goenka. “So, that is our major one-point demand from the budget.” The AEPC has also stressed the need to increase India’s production capacity, sign free trade agreements with other countries, and promote Indian apparel globally through export promotion efforts.
The AEPC also suggested that the government provide duty-free facilities for importing trimmings and embellishments because these goods are usually eventually exported out of India. “Trimmings and embellishments like tags, labels and buttons that are used for branding and are nominated by the buyers were allowed duty-free till two years back,” said Goenka. “That has been removed and we are requesting to reinstate that facility because we have to import those trimmings from buyers' nominated sources.”
The AEPC was incorporated in 1978 and is the official body of apparel exporters in India. The AEPC has 10 offices across India and also runs training programmes for the apparel industry, according to its website.
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