Textile industry representatives discussed the trends, issues of concern, competitiveness of the industry in the global market, and strategies to sustain growth at a two-day CEO Conference organised by the Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) here.

Inaugurating the conference on Friday, B.K. Patodia, Chairman and Managing Director of GTN Group, said normally the textile mills do not have more than 15 to 20 days stock of yarn.

However, when yarn exports were restricted last financial year, the mills were unable to export for over two months and stocks increased with the units.

Though exports had resumed now, the mills were unable to realise better prices for yarn.

Nearly 90 per cent of area under cotton was under Bt cotton in the country and yields had increased. Cotton production was expected to be 355 lakh bales in 2011-2012 and Indian production could reach even 400 lakh bales in a couple of years.

The domestic mills should also look at timely and regular purchase so that prices did not shoot up, he said.

Manickam Ramaswami, Deputy Chairman of Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council, said the Indian textile and clothing industry would be able to capture 40 per cent to 50 per cent of world yarn market and 20 per cent to 25 per cent of grey cloth market in three years.

Stable policy

It required a stable Government policy, modular incentive package, and no quantitative restrictions on exports. The Commerce Ministry should encourage exports. Every segment of the textile sector should improve its competitive edge in the international market.

The inter-dependence of various segments of the industry should be understood. Cotton should be available in surplus and farmers should be encouraged to cultivate cotton.

The cotton development and research wings of the textile industrial associations should focus on developing cotton by-products. “Two cents per pound freight equalisation tax should be levied to compensate for higher freight charges to Indian mills,” he suggested.

J. Thulasidharan, former chairman of the Southern India Mills' Association, said the Centre should announce the National Fibre Policy at the earliest to ensure price stability and level-playing field for the domestic textile industry.