Knitwear exports from nearby Tirupur could witness a decline of Rs 5,000 crore, as against the anticipated Rs 16,000 crore in 2011, due to closure of dyeing and bleaching units following problem of zero discharge, according to Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA).

Due to the processing problem since January last, exports could be between Rs 11,500 crore to Rs 12,000 crore in the year, sustaining last year’s export, that too because of price increase for garments and not increase in quantum of export, TEA President, A Shaktivel told PTI.

“Prices of garments have gone up by about 18 per cent, which shows export increase in value term. But in volume, there is no increase. Export could have easily been in the range of Rs 18,000 crore if the situation was normal in dyeing sector, considering the demand” he claimed.

The industry was struggling for the last three years due to various reasons, including cotton and cotton yarn price fluctuation and was showing signs of revival, “when dyeing units crisis splashed water on it”, Mr. Shaktivel said.

After permission to run three Common Effluent Treatment Plants with zero discharge was given, about 140 dyeing units are expected to function in two to three months, which would increase production and processing by 50 per cent, he said.

In another six months, more CETPs are expected to adopt zero discharge facility, which would help speedy processing and increased production for export demand, as much time is lost for getting processed goods from places like Surat, Kolkata and Ludhiana, during the crisis in dyeing sector, he said.

On exploring newer markets, Mr. Shaktivel said signing of duty free status agreement could result in Japan being a good market, as they import 99 per cent of its needs from China. If India could penetrate this huge Japanese market and garner at least five to 10 per cent of business, it would be a boom for apparel sector, he said.