The garment industry occupies a unique place in our country. It accounts for 14% of the total industrial production and contributes nearly 20% of the total exports and is the second largest employment generator after agriculture.
Garment industry is providing one of the basic needs of people and maintained sustained growth for improving quality of life. Its vast potential for creation of employment opportunities on the agricultural, industrial organized and rural and urban areas, particularly for women.
Although the development of garment sector was earlier taking place in terms of general policies. In recognition of its importance of this sector for the first time, a separate policy statement was made in 1985 in regard to development of garment sector. The textile policy of 2000 aims at achieving the target of garment and apparel exports of US $ 50 billion by 2010 of which the share of garment will be US $ 25 billion. The main markets for Indian garments are USA, UAE, UK, GERMANY, FRANCE, ITALY, RUSSIA, CANADA, BANGLADESH and JAPAN.
The main objective of the textile policy 2000 is to provide cloth of acceptable quality at reasonable prices for the vast majority of population of the country and to compete with confidence for an increasing share of the global market.
From the above it is clear that garment occupies a unique position in our economy contributing to nearly a one third of the country’s earnings. The industry includes manufacturers, suppliers, whole sellers and exporters of cotton textiles etc. Today handloom and cotton textile exports in India are counted among the most important sector.
The garment industry in India is widely named for its superb quality garments. Total textile exports during April-march 1998-99 were Rs 52720.78 crores. A readymade garment export comprises nearly 40% of the total exports.
Developing countries with both textile and clothing capacity may be able to prosper in the new competitive environment after the textile quota regime of quantitative import restrictions under the multi-fiber arrangement (MFA) came in to an end on 1st January 2005 under the world trade organization (WTO) agreement on textiles and clothing.
As a result, the garment industry in developed countries will face huge competition in both their exports and domestic markets. The elimination of quota restriction will open the way for the most competitive developing countries to develop stronger clusters of the garment industry which enable them to handle all stages of the production chain from growing natural fibers to producing finished clothing.
The garment industry is undergoing a major reorientation towards non- clothing applications of textiles known as technical textiles which are growing roughly at twice rate textiles for clothing applications and now account for more than half of total textile production. The processes involved in producing technical textile require expensive equipments and skilled workers.
As a result of various initiatives taken by the government, there has been new investment of Rs 50000 crore in the garment industry in the last five years. Nine garment majors invested Rs 2600 crores and plan to invest another Rs 6400 crore. Further, India’s cotton production increased by 57% over the last five years and three million additional spindles. The industry expects investment of Rs 1,40,000 crores in this sector in the post MFA phase. A vision 2010 for garments formulated by the government after interaction with the industry and exports promotion councils aims to increase India’s share in the worlds garment from the current 4% to 8% by 2010 vision and plan to increase Indian garment economy from the current US $ 37 billion to $ 85 billion by 2010 and creation of 12 million new jobs in the garment sector.
There will be opportunities as well as challenges for the Indian garment industry in the post MFA era. But India has...