Special Correspondent

“We would like the package to be sustained until exports turned in positive results for 2 quarters”

“Biggest worries has been non-payment of interest subsidy arrears as rebate on investments”

CHENNAI: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has sought extension of the stimulus package for the textile sector until exports move into positive territory.

Presenting the CII’s pre-Budget expectations for the textile sector for the 2010-11 fiscal, Manikam Ramaswami, chairman of the CII’s sub-committee on policy, said though the sector was by and large satisfied with the support extended by the Centre to tide over economic recession, exports continued to be bogged down in negative territory.

“We would like the stimulus to be sustained at least until textile exports turned in positive results for two consecutive quarters,” Mr. Ramaswami said.

One of the biggest worries for the textile sector has been the non-payment of interest subsidy arrears as a rebate on investments under the TUFS (Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme) by the Centre.

The defaulted amount due to textile units is around Rs.1,500 crore for the last two quarters.

The CII has sought Budgetary earmarking of at least Rs.5,000 crore in the next fiscal to provide for the arrear clearance and the subsidy amount that would fall due in the next four quarters.

Customs duty waiver

Mr. Ramaswami said one of the CII’s consistent demands had been the waiver of Customs duty on polyester to make the staple fabric of the poorer sections more affordable.

In the anomalous pricing that prevailed, domestic prices of polyester were substantially higher than international rates. Putting polyester in the zero duty category would bring down prices by at least 17 per cent, he said.

Another demand that has increased relevance for Tamil Nadu involves a waiver of the excise duty for liquid fuels used by units during load-shedding hours, Mr. Ramaswami said.