April 17, 2024

Knitter Trade Body Raises Alarm Over Surging Fabric Imports

A knitter’s trade body has raised the alarm on the surging imports of Chinese synthetic knitted fabrics and requested the government to intervene and safeguard the domestic industry.

The All India Knitters Association (AIKA) in a communication to the Prime Minister’s Office emphasised the urgency of the issue with a plea for urgent intervention.

“These unrestricted imports have led to an annual revenue loss of Rs 5,700 crore to the Government of India’s exchequer,” Blunt Times stated.

The letter highlighted a staggering 111 percent increase in the import of synthetic knitted fabrics from China, escalating from 325 tons per day in 2019-20 to a massive 686 tons per day in the current fiscal.

“Particularly concerning was the soaring import figures within the H.S code 60063200, which recorded a significant 148% surge, rising from 203 tons per day to 504 tons per day during the same period.

Of great concern to AIKA was the revelation that nearly 74 percent of the imported category under H.S code 60063200, described as ‘other knitted or crocheted fabrics of synthetic fibers—Dyed’, was imported at an average price of $1.41 per kilogram.

“Conversely, the average export price of polyester yarn stands at $1.51 per kilogram. This stark pricing contrast between raw material exports and finished product containing spandex import raises significant concerns,” the trade body added.

Based on the import data for fiscal 2024, AIKA estimated that Rs 92 crore per month is evaded in duty at import stage, Rs 242 crore per month evaded in GST and Rs 141 crore in income tax evasion from import to consumer stage.

AIKA urged the government to implement import restrictions, such as anti-dumping duty or Quality Control Order (QCO), starting from finished products instead of targeting raw materials.

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