India’s textile sector accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s manufacturing production, 5 per cent of its GDP, and 13 per cent of its export earnings, said a study released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). The size of the textile market is expected to touch $250 billion in two years from the current $150 billion.
The sector is the second largest employer, absorbing 51 million directly and 68 million indirectly in 2015-16, the joint study by ASSOCHAM and financial advisory services provider Resurgent India Limited released recently at the ASSOCHAM conference on ‘Women in Textiles & Handicrafts Industry: Weaving the Threads of Livelihood’ in New Delhi, found. However, over 17,600 workers were affected by the closure of 67 textile units in the last three years, an ASSOCHAM press release said quoting the study.
Demonetisation and the transition to the goods and services tax (GST) regime have hit smaller players hard. The GST rollout has further hit small and medium players in textile hubs, such as Surat, Bhiwadi and Ichalkaranji. Capital goods firms are struggling as most of the downstream sectors are saddled with excess capacity and low demand, says the study.
Though about half of the people employed in the handlooms, handicrafts and sericulture sectors are estimated to be women, their percentage in the organised sector is extremely low, garment manufacturing being an exception.