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India frets over garment imports from Bangladesh

Garments from Bangladesh are flooding India. Bangladesh sources fabrics duty-free from China and exports garments to India. This huge jump in garment imports from Bangladesh under the free trade agreement has put India’s domestic industry in a fix. This comes amid slowing domestic demand and banks curtailing credit to 80 per cent of micro, small and medium enterprises in the sector. Import of garments from Bangladesh was up 82 per cent in the last fiscal. It has been growing steadily at a compounded annual growth rate of 52 per cent. This is feared to render about ten lakh people jobless with most small garment units shutting shop. India’s garment exports fell four per cent in the last fiscal. However, they have revived partially in the last two months with the export incentive schemes.

The Indian textile industry feels Bangladesh has to be compelled to source a part of its fabrics requirement from India as putting a cap on exports from Bangladesh looks difficult. Bangladesh, which is the world’s second-largest garment exporter, has seen the value of its overseas sales rise. It aims at doubling its exports by 2024. Its economy is expected to expand by a record eight per cent for the next two years.