With the textile industry reviving from two years of slowdown, the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil) is confident that cotton textile exports from the country will double in three years.

Chairman of the council Manickam Ramaswamy told The Hindu that the annual cotton textile export now was worth $ 10 billion, consisting of cotton yarn, fabric and home textiles. India is most competitive manufacturer of textile products globally, compared to China and Bangladesh too. It has several advantages such as availability of cotton and modern technology in textile mills.

However, there are some issues that need to be addressed by the Government to ensure that exports grow faster. The cost of labour in China was at least eight times higher than Bangladesh and the import duty higher than India. However, the Chinese manufacturers get Value Added Tax refund of 17 per cent. Bangladesh and China are registering faster growth of exports compared to India, he said.

The textile value chain is long and it takes two months to convert the raw material into finished product. Hence, the Indian units carry the inventory for a long period and high interest rates are hitting the industry. Interest rebate should be provided for capital and working funds so that exports are competitive. The Government should have quick response to the changes in the market place and the additional costs should be removed.

Since India is a cotton surplus country and cotton is the main raw material for the Indian textile industry, the raw material should be available at lower than international prices for the domestic industry.

Mr. Ramaswamy said the council also plans to take measures to increase cotton fabric and home textile exports. It will identify the top 10 importing countries for the major products and will promote Indian cotton textiles in these markets.