Apparel Export Promotion Council eyes 10% rise this fiscal

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) is looking at a 10% rise in garment exports in the short term.

A. Sakthivel, the newly-elected chairman of the council, said the immediate focus was on 10% growth and that for the next fiscal, the sector could be looking at a 15% increase.

“If we get pending export incentives from the government immediately, we can get more orders from overseas buyers in the next two months,” he said.

Mr. Sakthivel added the Centre had announced that the MEIS (Merchandise Exports from India Scheme) would continue till December-end.

Exporters used to get 3.8-4.8% benefit from the scheme. They placed orders taking it into account while working out the costs. However, funds have not been disbursed under MEIS.

The government later announced the Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies scheme.

The AEPC and the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council submitted data to the government on the taxes that exporters pay so that these could be reimbursed under the scheme. However, that too is yet to be implemented.

This has hit working capital availability for exporters. Mr. Sakthivel said the Centre had assured him that these would be addressed soon.

To improve export competitiveness, the AEPC also plans to study the products and markets that Vietnam and Cambodia supply to in apparels. Garment exports are surging for both countries and India should work to compete with them, Mr. Sakthivel said.