INDIA PLANS NEW STRATEGY TO BOOST DEVELOPMENT OF ITS TEXTILE INDUSTRY

INDIA PLANS NEW STRATEGY TO BOOST DEVELOPMENT OF ITS TEXTILE INDUSTRY

Perhaps spurred by Pakistan's example, India is planning a new strategy to develop its textile industry.

Textiles Minister Kamal Nath told a committee of lawmakers Monday that duty-free imports of machinery for modernization and duty relief for ecological-testing equipment would form part of the strategy.He said he would soon see Finance Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the strategy and seek tax concessions.

Textiles account for nearly 30 percent of India's exports and are the largest foreign exchange earner. In fiscal 1995 through last March 31, exports were worth $9.9 billion, up 25 percent over a year earlier.

Pakistan last week unveiled an incentive and relief package for its equally vital but ailing textile sector.

The package announced by Commerce Minister Ahmed Mukhtar includes zero tariffs on raw material imports, loan rescheduling, repayment of export rebates, and increased duty drawbacks.

Rebates amounting to billions of rupees each year will be directly provided to exporters by banks and financial institutions instead of the Customs Department.