High tariffs faced by domestic exporters in the European Union and the UK as compared to zero duty access given by these countries to nations like Bangladesh and Cambodia are affecting India's exports performance, Parliament was informed on Friday. Minister of State for Textiles DarshanaJardosh also said that the textile industry has been hugely affected due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
India's textiles exports in 2020 stood at USD 29.61 billion, while the shipments of Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia in that year were aggregated at USD 37.95 billion, USD 37.10 billion and USD 7.77 billion, respectively.
"High tariffs faced by Indian exporters in key markets such as the EU and the UK as compared to zero duty access given to competing nations like Bangladesh and Cambodia are affecting India's exports performance," she said in a written reply to the LokSabha.
In a separate reply, she said textiles exports to China have increased to USD 1.56 billion in 2020-21 as against USD 1.13 billion in 2019-20.
"The global pandemic of Covid-19 has adversely affected the textile sector such as restriction on social gathering, migration of labourers, disruption of supply chain, thus affecting all the stakeholders from farmers to traders/exporters in the value chain. However, the situation improved with time and production and exports looked up," she said.
Jardosh also said that during cotton season 2020-21 (up to July 23, 2021), the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has procured seed cotton equivalent to around 91.893 lakh bales under MSP operations.
In another reply, the minister said due to Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown imposed by the various state governments, the production activities in all National Textile Corporation (NTC) Limited mill units including Minerva mill units were put on hold from March 25, 2020.
"During this period, the employees were paid salary regularly as per their status by NTC out of its cash reserve. After lifting up of the lockdown and as per availability of raw material, NTC restored operation of 14 mill units from January 2021 onwards," she said.
However, the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic again led to closure of all NTC mill operations in April 2021 and now NTC has restored operations in some of its mills in July 2021 as per raw material availability, she added.