Apparel exports have entered a “recessionary zone’’ with shipments in March falling 17.78 per cent to $1.49 billion, with an overall dip of 3.83 per cent to $16.71 billion in 2017-18, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has said.
“These figures clearly show that apparel exports are not only stagnating but are heading towards a recession. Apparel manufacturing has already registered a decline for the tenth straight month in February,” said HKL Magu. Chairman, AEPC. Though India is struggling with the problem of stagnation in exports, countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam are showing consistent growth in apparel exports, the release stated.
Magu said the AEPC was working with policymakers for an early resolution of the sector’s problems, including working capital being stuck due to slow refund of GST and reduction in drawback rates.
India’s overall goods exports increased 9.78 per cent to $302.4 billion in April-March 2017-18, but declined 0.6 per cent to $29.11 billion in March 2018. The fall has been much more in the case of apparel exports.
The sector currently employs 12.9 million workers, but due to the ongoing slide, several clusters have been impacted, said Magu.