The government has sought proposals from industry to set up a dedicated export promotion council (EPC) for technical textiles to promote international trade of these products.

“Exporter Association and Trade bodies registered under Companies Act or Society Registration Act are hereby invited to submit proposals for constitution of a dedicated EPC for Technical Textiles,” textiles ministry said in a notification.

Technical textiles such as personal protective equipment, truck covers and marquee tents, are meant for non-aesthetic purposes where function is the primary criterion and are used in various industries including automobiles, civil engineering and construction, agriculture, healthcare, industrial safety and personal protection.

The Cabinet last month approved a Rs 10,683 crore Production Linked Incentive Scheme for man-made fibre and technical textiles. The government has also undertaken a Rs 1,480 crore National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM) to improve penetration level of technical textiles in the country which has a four year implementation period from 2020-21 to 2023-24. The mission entails setting up of an EPC for technical textiles

“The decision of formation of a dedicated EPC for Technical Textiles is an extremely important step and we welcome this move. The industry is hopeful of a manifold growth in this high potential sector,” said Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) chairman A Sakthivel.

India now has 207 items in technical textiles and HSN codes (tariff codes) upto 8 digits and that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has given Indian standards for over 300 items in 2020 and set standards for 30 new items. Moreover, the government has ensured that 92 technical textiles items used in areas such as agriculture, healthcare, hygiene, water resources, building of roads and highways, are mandated and made compulsory for use.

Sakthivel said that of the 207 items notified as technical textiles in January 2019, there are 12 products of apparel. The global market for these 12 products is estimated to be $11 billion, though India’s exports is only $93 million.

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