To boost textiles exports, apex garments industry body AEPC today sought measures like customs duty reduction on synthetic fabric and adequate availability of credit at affordable rates in the next budget.
In its pre-budget proposals, the Apparel Exports Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel also asked for removal of service tax on services like exhibitions.
“Services provided to local or government authority by the Export Promotion Council should be exempted from the service tax,” he said.
“Grant-in aid to the Export Promotion Council for overseas events or exhibition should not be treated as consideration for any service rendered to government and hence, should not be liable to service tax,” Sakthivel said in a statement.
There is an urgent need to reduce “customs duty to flat 5% on synthetic or blended fabric,” he added.
“The government should also provide 5 per cent incentive under Market Linked Focus Product Scheme for exports made to other than traditional markets, because exports to non- traditional markets have been growing and it needs the adequate support at right time,” he said.
AEPC also sought reduction in excise duty on branded garments.
“Garments imported from Bangladesh do not attract any customs duty and also their prices are lower than the Indian products. Considering the employment and also to face the competition from the Bangladesh products, we request to remove the excise duty imposed on branded readymade garments,” he said.
Sakthivel also demanded compensation to exporters against the state levies such as octroi till the introduction of GST.
He also demanded early introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) to enhance competitiveness of the sector in the global market.
AEPC also asked for enhancement of the depreciation rate on plant and machinery from 15% to 25%.
India’s textile exports declined 8.5% during the April-December period because of slowdown in major markets like the US and EU.