29.01.2024: Apparel industry seeks uniformity in GST across value chain

Ahead of the central government’s interim budget, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has sought uniformity in Goods and Services Tax for the entire value chain.

In its submission to the central government, it requested a uniform GST of 5 per cent across the entire man-made fibres (MMF) value chain, which largely comprises fibre, yarn and fabric.

Currently, the MMF GST rate on fibre is 18 per cent, yarn 12 per cent, and fabric 5 per cent. The Export Promotion Council believes that it results in unutilized input credit and consequent liquidity issues for MSME units.

Further, it has requested the government to increase the interest equalization rates under the scheme to 5 per cent for all the apparel exporters.

“This will increase the apparel industry’s competitiveness in the international market and enable them to avail necessary working capital,” the council said.

The interest equalization was brought in to help exporters from identified sectors and all MSME manufacturer exporters to avail pre and post-shipping Rupee export credit at competitive rates.

At present, the rates for Manufacturers and Merchant Exporters exporting products listed in the 410 tariff lines and MSME exporters of all tariff lines, are 2 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively.

Among other recommendations, it requested to provide tax concessions to apparel manufacturers adopting ESG and other international quality standards and compliances.

Also, it sought budgetary support for branding and marketing of Made in India products.

The Budget session of Parliament, the last session before the general elections expected in April-May, will begin on January 31 and is likely to continue till February 9, sources had said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the interim budget on February 1. The session will begin with President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament

The interim budget typically takes care of the fiscal needs of the intervening period till a government is formed after the Lok Sabha polls.

Source: The Print

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