Indian Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani said that the hike in customs duty on silk and manmade fibre, announced in the Budget, will discourage cheap imports of textile products from China and benefit the local manufacturers. “Increase in customs duty on silk and manmade fibre will discourage cheap Chinese textile products from flooding the market and benefit domestic manufacturers in the power loom sector,” Irani said in New Delhi on Budget allocation for the Ministry.

On reduction of corporate tax to 25 per cent from 30 per cent announced in the Budget, the Minister said that reclassification of micro, medium and small enterprises (MSMEs) and reduction in tax by 5 per cent of enterprises having turnover up to Rs. 250 cr will help the manufacturing and increase employability in the textiles sector. “Of the Rs. 6000 cr special package, which was announced in 2016, for the textiles sector, Rs. 1800 cr have already been released and Rs. 300 cr will be released during the current financial year,” Irani informed. In the Budget 2018-19, an outlay of Rs. 7,148 cr has been proposed for the textile sector. The Minister also spoke about 100 per cent increase in allocation for textiles sector for skill development. “The correction in the GST (Goods and Services Tax) rates on hand made and machine made garments has created ease of doing business in these sectors,” she said.

The rate of GST on yarn has been reduced to 12 per cent from 18 per cent and on job work has been cut down to 5 per cent from 18 per cent. Support for merchandise scheme has been enhanced from 2 per cent to 5 per cent for the apparel sector. Attributing the 16 per cent growth in apparel sector to the effective implementation of subsidy schemes, Irani said that the Government has disbursed Rs. 138 cr to 28,000 weavers under the Mudra Loan Yojana and 1.8 lakh workers from garment industry have formally joined the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). She further said that the second round of Hastkala Shivirs will be organised from February 19 to 24 in various parts of the country with a special focus on North East region, in order to encourage weavers. In the first round Hastkala Shivirs, 394 camps were held in 247 districts all over the country from October 7 to 17 last year.