2022 will be a crucial year for Indian textile industry
Covid, new rates of GST will remain the biggest challenge for clothing industry
The most recent data shows that India's textile and clothing exports have seen a 53 per cent growth during the April-November period of the current financial year at around $26 billion, compared to the figure of $17 billion during the same period in FY21. Industry honchos are expecting that the current fiscal will have $ 45 billion. And all this was the highest ever price of raw material, container shortage. The resilience of Indian industry and supportive development like global sentiments against China helped India
Among the fear of Omicron and carefulness about the same, the world is entering into the new year and to say or predict about the new year is something which we should avoid. Especially as uncertainty is the only certain thing now. But as to think about the future, we must look back to our past.
And with regard to the Indian textile and clothing industry, I must say that this year was a roller coaster year. The year started with and during the March-April, this fear was peak along with the Covid. Factories were closed, forced to operate with 50 per cent workforce, but later not only they resume operation full-fledged, but also faced the heat of labour shortage as orders from overseas markets are pouring. The domestic market also reached a pre-Covid level and things improved beyond expectation. Isn't the similar scenario as 2022 is starting with the growing cases of Omicron, night curfew has been announced in many Indian states and lockdown is already there in a few countries. Physical events, which used to be the backbone for the industry, started taking place but are being postponed now again.
And moving forward not only Covid is there, but new rates of GST is also the biggest challenge and I have hardly seen so much anger, agitation and strong presentation made by the industry leaders.
Interesting the Government, especially the Ministry of Textiles was fully supportive to the industry in 2021. It was the most impressive development of the year as there was a new team in the Union Textile ministry, including both honourable ministers, and a sharp new textile secretary. Everyone must be agreed that there was never such a synergy between Industry and Ministry and Industry has high hope as a pro-active Commerce minister also became textile minister, has plenty of interactive meetings with the industry.
Our Ministry has set an ambitious target of $100 billion for textiles and garment exports over the next five years and supporting also at a larger level like notification of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, PM Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (MITRA) scheme, continued RoSCTL scheme for export competitiveness. MoT seems right in its claim that it was a game-changer year.
The coming year will definitely have some concrete development with regard to the execution of these schemes. As our minister Piyush Goyal has assured that FTAs are on track with some countries, it will also have a good impact on our textile and clothing industry.
As business is all about long term planning and the right decisions at the right time, 2021 also witnessed business expansions across the country. I must say that the right from stalwart to small scale industries also expanded in a good way.
The most recent data shows that India's textile and clothing exports have seen a 53 per cent growth during the April-November period of the current financial year at around $26 billion, compared to the figure of $17 billion during the same period in FY21. Industry honchos are expecting that the current fiscal will have $ 45 billion.
And all this was the highest ever price of raw material, container shortage. The resilience of Indian industry and supportive development like global sentiments against China helped India. An interesting aspect that created positivity at the ground level is the good impact of reverse migration, thousands of workers who used to work in metro cities' garment factories are now running their small units or working in such micro-units in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Such efforts need to increase as much as possible.
At the industry level now work from home, multitasking, maximum use of technology has now become part of DNA. These important aspects should help the industry irrespective of whatever expected or unexpected conditions may be there in future. Similarly, in 2021, hundreds of professionals become entrepreneurs. With plenty of challenges, the majority of them are on right track. On a concluding note, it will be right to say that Covid will not be there always but plenty of challenges will be for sure, with the proper collaboration of each other, industry and Government must work together, every stakeholder is on their toes. We Indians have a strong sense of optimism in every situation and this optimism has delivered also so with the optimistic approach let's enter in the new-year and achieve new heights of growth.
(The author owns a garment manufacturing setup in a rural area, which employs mostly women workers)