Subsidy removal will reduce country’s global competitiveness: TEA

Coimbatore: Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) appealed to the Union Commerce Ministry to come out with an alternative which was WTO compatible and similar to Merchandise Exports of India Scheme till a free trade agreement was inked with the EU, the UK and EAEU.

The request comes after remarks by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal that the industry and export councils should stop depending on crutches of subsidies and grants from the Central government and strive to make industry more competitive and self-reliant.

“Though knitwear garment (was) exporting units, 80 per cent MSMEs in Tirupur were striving hard to be competitive and self-reliant. The major concern was the absence of level playing field in the global market,” president, TEA, Raja M Shanmugham, said in a statement.

The subsidy like MEIS was actually introduced for offsetting the infrastructural inefficiencies faced for export of specified goods including ready made garments (RMG) to provide a level playing field, he said.

He said the immediate removal of subsidy given to RMG sector at this juncture would straightaway lead to reduction of the country’s competitiveness in the global market.

The TEA president said the RMG sector was providing more employment to the downtrodden people, that too 60 per cent women workers and it is required to protect this industry and also cotton farmers, as the fortune of industry is linked with them directly.

In this background TEA has sent requisition letter to Union Minister of Commerce and Industry to come out with an alternative WTO compatible scheme with equal benefit of MEIS till inking Free Trade Agreement with EU, UK, EAEU and other promising countries for the sustenance of exports.

The copies of letters were also sent to Prime Minister, Union Ministers of Finance, Textiles and MSMEs, he said.

NT Bureau