Steps Taken to Reduce the Impact of COVID-19 on Textile Industry

To understand the problems dealt in the textile sector, the government has conducted a study namely,‘Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Indian silk industry’


Textile sector is a highly unorganized sector in the Indian economy. The government has initiated special measures to help ameliorate the conditions in the textile sector due to Covid pandemic and to boost production, marketing and job opportunities in the sector. To understand the problems dealt in the textile sector, the government has conducted a study namely,'Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Indian silk industry' to ascertain the crisis caused to the sector.

The industry has faced various problems in production, cocoon and raw silk prices, transportation problems, non-availability of skilled workers, sale of raw silk and silk products, working capital and cash flow, reduced export or import orders, apart from restrictions. The last three month orders and supply has plummeted downward showing a declining trend in jute production during the peak Covid-19 period, which is substantially improving now.

Month

Order

Supply by Mills

June 2020

2.75 bales

1.78 bales

July 2020

3.59 bales

2.48 bales

August 2020

3.52 bales

2.32 bales


(Source: Press Release by Ministry of Textiles)

The government has conducted a conference with textile Export Promotion Councils and other industry stakeholders for finalizing a list of potential export products against which exports of textile and apparel can be enhanced. In order to make the textile sector competitive by rebating all taxes or levies in international market, the government has decided to continue the RoSCTL (Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies) scheme until such time the RoSCTL scheme is merged with Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme. For this purpose, it has approved ad hoc allocation of funds of INR 7,398 crore for fiscal 2020-21 for issuance of duty credit scrips under RoSCTL scheme. Further, in order to boost exports in the MMF sector, the government has removed anti-dumping duty on PTA (Purified Terephtallic Acid), a key raw material for the manufacture of MMF fibre and yarn. To mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on trade, the Ministry of Textiles has taken up various trade facilitation related issues raised by the industry stakeholders from time to time with the concerned ministries for early redressal.

A special measure to alleviate the difficulties of beneficiaries under Amended Technology Upgradation Funds (ATUFS) was initiated in the Ministry of Textiles during the COVID pandemic. Under this measure, an option has been extended to the applicants, where the physical examination of the machineries by Joint Inspection Team (JIT) has been completed, to avail their subsidies released on submission of Bank Guarantee. The advance release of subsidy against bank guarantee is met from the regular budget allocation under ATUFS.

The government announced a special economic package viz. Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan for boosting the economy of the country and making India self-reliant. The weavers and artisans can avail benefits of these relief and credit support measures to revive their businesses which have suffered due to lock down necessitated by Covid-19 pandemic.

Apart from the above special economic package, the Ministry of Textiles has taken following initiatives for the benefits of handloom weavers and artisans across the country: -

  1. To support the handloom and handicraft sectors and to enable wider market for handloom weavers, artisans or producers, steps have been taken to on-board weavers and artisans on Government e-Market place (GeM) to enable them to sell their products directly to various government departments and organizations.

  2. To promote e-marketing of handloom products, a policy framework was designed and under which any willing e-commerce platform with a good track record can participate in online marketing of handloom products. Accordingly, 23 e-commerce entities have been engaged for on-line marketing of handloom products.

  3. A social media campaign #Vocal4handmade was launched on the 6th National Handloom Day by the government, in partnership with all stakeholders, to promote the handloom legacy of India and to ensure peoples support for the weaving community. It has been reported that the social media campaign has resulted in renewed interest of the Indian public in handlooms and several e-commerce players have reported increase in sale of Indian handloom products.

  4. The Ministry of Textiles has requested the Chief Ministers of all states and UTs to instruct their state handloom corporations or co-operatives or Agencies to make purchases of the finished inventory available with the handloom weavers or artisans so as to put some ready cash in the hands of the weavers to enable them meet their household needs.

  5. In the face of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, it is not feasible to hold conventional marketing events such as exhibitions, and melas, etc. To deal with this crisis, the government endeavors to provide online marketing opportunities to our weavers and handloom producers.

  6. Design resource centres are being set up in Weavers Service Centres (WSCs) through NIFT with the objective to build and create design-oriented excellence in the handloom sector and to facilitate weavers, exporters, manufacturers and designers for creating new designs

Besides these steps, the Ministry of Textiles is executing several schemes via offices of Development Commissioner for the development and welfare of handloom weavers throughout the nation.

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