The Cotton Textiles Exports Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) has welcomed the inclusion of exports of cotton fabrics – both woven and knitted — to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
This is a very positive step taken by the Government as it will increase exports to these two countries, said R K Dalmia, Chairman, TEXPROCIL. “India can play a big role by supplying fabrics to Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan Garment manufacturers as India is stronger in fabrics and Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are stronger in garment manufacturing,” he noted.
However, although certain categories of knitted fabrics have also been included under the scheme, HS Code 6006 — which covers most of the knitted fabrics including knitted fabrics with Lycra — has been inadvertently left out. Further, knitted fabrics with Lycra are value-added products that are being widely used in garments. According to Dalmia, if any benefit is granted to fabrics, the entire range should be covered under the benefit to avoid unintended exclusions.
The MEIS has also not included exports of value-added and labour-intensive products such as cotton dyed and printed fabrics and made-ups to African cities and countries, including Mauritania, Mali, Dar Es Salaam, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissaou, Niger, Benin, Angola, Senegal, Togo, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania, which is a major blow to exporters to the African region, Dalmia pointed out. Exports to Africa include khangas, khatangas, etc. which are used as traditional attire on the continentand are predominantly manufactured by units located in the Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) sector, he stated.