New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said it has raised the textiles export target to USD 43 billion for the current fiscal, from USD 36 billion set earlier.
"In July 2013, the government has raised the annual export target of textiles from USD 36 billion to USD 43 billion following discussions with textiles export promotion councils against the backdrop of rupee depreciation and strong industry performance," Minister of State for Textiles Panabaaka Lakshmi said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The US and Europe account for over 65 percent of India's total textiles exports.
Last fiscal, textiles exports stood at USD 34 billion.
Asked if government has proposed to allow women to work in night shifts in apparel units, Lakshmi said: "The Textiles Ministry has mooted a proposal for amendments in Factories Act 1948, seeking amendments in Section 59 - Extra Wages for Overtime and Section 64 - Power to Make Exempting Rules to provide for Over Time Wages at the rate of one-one quarter times of the regular rate and that the cap for 50 hours a quarter should be removed for textiles sector."
In 2007, the High-Level Committee on Manufacturing Competitiveness considered amendments in labour laws for enhancing competitiveness of textiles industry, she said.
In 2005, the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2005 seeking amendments under Section 66 of the Factories Act was introduced in Parliament on August 16, 2005. "However, amendments under the Factories Act of 1948 were not be undertaken," Lakshmi said.
Replying to another query, she said, the government is aware of the stiff competition from powerloom and other mills, availability of cheaper imported fabrics, choked credit lines and high cost of credit, changing consumer preferences and economic liberalisation has threatened the vibrancy of handloom sector.
The government has been following a policy for promotion and encouraging handloom sector through a number of programmes and schemes like cluster approach, aggressive marketing initiative and skill upgradation.
First Published: Wednesday, August 07, 2013, 19:35