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Need to impose safeguard measures to prevent cheap fabric imports: CITI

Textile industry body the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has stressed that there is an urgent need to impose safeguard measures such as Rules of Origin, Yarn Forward and Fabric Forward Rules in order to prevent routing of cheaper fabrics produced in countries like China through Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, that have free trade pacts (FTAs) with India. It also observed that the country's garment industry will face stiff competition from imported garments, especially from Bangladesh where production cost is much lower.

CITI pointed out that according to the latest data released by Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau, India's import of garments from Bangladesh has touched $87.4 million during July to November 2017, registering a sharp increase of 56 percent from $55.92 million during the same period last year. Besides, it indicated that during July to November 2017, India's imports of knitted apparel from Bangladesh grew by 69 percent, while the imports of woven apparel jumped by 51 percent in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

The textile industry body further said that the basic custom duty on import of garments from Bangladesh is exempted. It also noted that garment manufacturers in India have to pay duty on imported fabrics, while Bangladesh can import fabric from China duty free and convert them into garments and sell to India duty free. It added that this is putting Indian garment industry at a major disadvantage and it is feared that this figure will go up further in the coming days as more Indian Brands shift sourcing from India to low cost duty free countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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