India’s textile exporters still have “one foot in the grave” despite a moderate recovery in the 2009-10 fiscal, Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran said on Wednesday.

“We still have one foot in the grave,” Mr. Maran told reporters when asked about the impact of the European debt crisis on Indian textile exports.

With textile exports depending on the U.S. and European markets to the extent of 60 per cent, he said, “We have to be very cautious” about the events in Europe.

Mr. Maran is the third Union Minister to have raised concerns on the possible impact of the debt crisis in the Euro zone on the Indian economy. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma have expressed similar views.

“Anything that happens in Europe and the U.S. affects our Indian exports intensely... We have to be very cautious in the coming months,” he added.

However, the Textiles Minister retained his $ 25 billion export target for the current fiscal against shipments of $ 19 billion in 2009-10.

To his surprise, exports of products related to manmade (synthetic) fibre are doing well, but shipments of cotton textiles remained on the lower side.

“The consolidated growth of last year (year-on-year) is 1.9 per cent... We have more than 13 per cent growth in the manmade fibre, which is making the sector good,” he said.