CITI compliments the Government for focussing on investment and R&D but the industry is concerned about the slow implementation of schemes and continued financial stress

New Delhi, Wednesday, 1st February 2024: Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) Chairman Shri Rakesh Mehra congratulated the Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting her 6th budget which is aimed at making India a Viksit Bharat by 2047 with a focus on complete development, all-inclusive, and all-pervasive.

Speaking on the budget, Shri Mehra said that there has not been any major policy announcement in the present budget, being an interim budget but the industry needs immediate relief from the financial stress, especially in the spinning sector.

The budget allocation for Textiles has increased by 27.6%, largely due to the allocation of Rs 600 crore for CCI towards the cotton MSP operations. He expressed hope that the cotton procurement will be as per revamped policies recommended by user industry associations to ensure price stability and discourage speculative trading. CITI has recommended commencing selling the cotton from February/ March depending upon the arrival pattern, retaining the MSP procured cotton as a buffer stock, releasing the cotton whenever the Indian cotton price exceeds the international price, extending a uniform fee period of 60 days for all the actual users, etc.

He further stated that the Apparel industry is happy to note the extension in the RoSCTL scheme for 2 years. However, in the present budget, the allocation for RoSCTL and RoDTEP has increased by 10% and 5.8% respectively, which is modest. The industry is trying to enhance export performance and expects better allocations for trade promotion in the full budget to be announced after the elections.

Industry appreciates the increased allocations towards PM MITRA and National Technical Textile Mission (NTTM) and Research & Capacity Building highlighting the stress of the Government on the investment. However, the slow uptake of PLI and an absence of alternatives to the TUFS scheme is impacting investment in the sector. The industry has also been requesting for closure of the pending TUFS cases at the earliest.

Shri Mehra expressed his happiness towards the focus on stimulating domestic consumption which may drive economic expansion and can be good for all manufacturing segments, including textiles, which are facing demand slump. The commitment to maintaining a fiscal deficit of 5.1%, and ensuring fiscal discipline while supporting economic growth is poised to help in this.

While in the present budget, the Government has not made any changes in the existing BCD & Indirect taxation, we are extremely sure that the Government will consider the Industry’s demand to remove the import duty from Cotton and Cotton Waste as also increase the BCD on MMF Yarn from present 5% to 10% to curb cheaper imports and reduce blockage of working capital, in the full budget, said Shri Mehra.

Shri Mehra applauded the focus on empowering MSMEs for growth and global competitiveness, Energy Security, Commitment to meet Net Zero by 2070, Promoting investments through increased expenditure towards infrastructure development, and increased focus on bilateral treaties in the spirit of ‘First Develop India’.