BUSINESS

Meet to discuss global competitiveness in textile industry

CHENNAI NOV. 9. Policy options for increasing the global and domestic competitiveness of the Indian textile industry and implications for India of the international trade regime after the total dismantling of the Multi Fibre Arrangement (MFA) in the year 2005 will be among the major themes to be focussed on at the Comptex 2002 conference to be held in Coimbatore on December 19 and 20, 2002.

To be organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry-Southern Region (CII-SSR) at the SITRA Auditorium, the conference will discuss the tools and techniques to enhance the competitiveness of various segments of the industry, right from cotton cultivation and ginning, to spinning, weaving, dyeing and production of value-added products. Financial and taxation issues, policies and procedures, mapping the new market and retailing, "the weakest segment in India", are among themes to be discussed in the presence of policymakers from the Centre and the States, according to Sanjay Jayavarthanavelu, Chairman of the Textile Sub-committee of the CII-SR.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Mr Jayavarthanavelu said Comptex would discuss a CII-Accenture study report on "textile industry - road to growth", with the perspective of achieving competitiveness in the emerging global textile market. Implications of trade blocs and anti-dumping duties on Indian textile exports, tariff rationalisation for domestic textiles, the need to develop options and futures trading in cotton and financial reengineering of the industry would be covered by the report and discussions.

T. Kannan, Chairman, CII-SR, said that despite its traditional strengths and innate skills and competitiveness, the Indian textile industry suffered from high cost of power and other inputs, poor quality of cotton, low economies of scale and a distorted fiscal regime under which Modvat credit could be denied to those who had paid duty on inputs but could be claimed by some who had not paid any tax on inputs, labour laws militating against efficiency and entry and exit barriers..

Mr. Kannan said China and Pakistan were trying to emerge as the preferred choice for relocation of the industry from developed countries, though India's potential from this point of view was greater. China was well ahead of India in the share of markets in non-quota countries, and India should be present in those markets in strength well ahead of the January 2005 deadline for the new WTO regime, he added.

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