In rupee terms, however, there was a negligible recovery of 0.37 per
cent. Apparel exports totaled Rs 50,479 crore in 2009-10 compared to Rs
50,293 crore in 2008-09. But in dollar terms, all months of 2009-10
except July, August and November showed a painful downslide..

“Exporters are in deep trouble as the garment industry is reeling under
unprecedented price hike of yarns and fabrics,” said AEPC’s chairman
Premal Udani. “The past four months have witnessed a mind-boggling 50
to 80 per cent increase in prices of basic raw materials. Just when
there were signs of initial recovery, the industry has been plunged
into a gloom because of high raw material prices and their erratic
Mr Udani asked the government to impose a 15 per cent tax on exports of
cotton yarn. “At a time when domestic demand for fabrics and yarns is
booming, free exports of basic raw materials like cotton and cotton
yarn take millions of jobs away from the country.”.
He urged the government to have long-term calibrated exports of cotton
and yarn. As far as possible, exports of raw materials should be
discouraged. “The government needs to encourage the readymade garment
sector which not only earns more foreign exchange per kg of exports but
creates millions of jobs in the process.”.
Mr Udani also appealed for removal of 16 per cent duty on imports of
yarns. Over and above the raw material costs, he said, the industry has
been impacted by high labour costs, non-refund of central and state
levies besides infrastructure deficiencies..

“Our share in world global market of clothing is going down,” said Mr Udani.
“Bangladesh has become a larger garment exporter than India. By next year, Vietnam will also overtake us.”
The Indian apparel industry is the second largest employer of human
resources after agriculture. Mr Udani pleaded for immediate government
intervention as millions of jobs are at stake