Textile industry to grow at 7-8 percent: Maran (Second Lead)

June 12th, 2009 - 8:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) The textile industry will regain lost ground to grow at 7-8 percent in the current fiscal, Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran said here Friday.
“Industry is quite optimistic and I am also quite optimistic we will be able to achieve that growth,” Maran told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

He said as part of a short-term strategy for the textile industry, the government will try to rationalise fiscal structure, exempt it from service tax, reduce interest rates on credit and facilitate faster clearance of arrears.

“I also urge the banks to give credit and help us,” Maran said.

Referring to the minimum support price for cotton that was hiked by 33-40 percent last October, the minister said: “We will be working closely with the agriculture ministry to ensure we do not tilt the balance (between industry and farmers) in any way.”

Maran said he had no objection to higher minimum support price for cotton as long as it did not hurt the textile sector, which he estimated would create one crore jobs in the next few years.

Over 600,000 textile sector workers are estimated to have lost their jobs after exports plummeted drastically after the global economic downturn. Merchandise exports, particularly textiles, witnessed almost flat growth during 2008-09.

“The main contributory factors were appreciation of Indian rupee, and a perceptible slowdown of economies of the US, Europe and Japan, major markets for Indian textiles and clothing exports,” Maran said.

The textiles and clothing exports contribute around 12 percent to India’s foreign exchange.

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