Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme will be a main driver of the exports growth, says Textiles Secretary

Buoyed by the rising demand in the traditional Western markets and also from new unexplored markets for its products, Textiles Secretary Rita Menon on Tuesday said the Government had set a target of $14 billion for garments exports for the 2011-12 fiscal.

“We expect garments exports to touch $14 billion as there is a good demand not only from traditional markets but also from new markets,” Ms. Menon said after inaugurating the India International Garment Fair. The three-day exhibition is being organised by the Apparel Export Promotion Council.

During 2010-11, apparel exports rose by 4.2 per cent to $11.1 billion from $10.7 billion in the previous fiscal. The U.S. and the EU account for about 80 per cent of the country's total apparel exports.

Ms. Menon said the government was laying more emphasis on initiatives for promotion of apparel exports.

Also, a number of new schemes including government support for the common compliance code and knitwear technology mission are proposed for the current year, she added. In the first two months of the current fiscal, garments exports jumped 30 per cent to $2.3 billion year-on-year.

“We are happy with 30 per cent growth in May and June year-on-year. The Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) will be a main driver of the exports growth,” she said.

In April this year, the government had restored TUFS by increasing the XI Plan allocation to Rs.15,432 crore from Rs.8,000 crore.

Earlier, the government had earmarked Rs.8,000 crore for this purpose, which was exhausted by June 2010. Subsequently, it had asked banks to suspend new sanctions under the scheme till allocation of additional funds. Under the scheme, the government subsidises 5 per cent of interest payments on loans sanctioned.

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