The synthetic textiles industry has sought a complete recast of excise and customs regime for itself, relating it with cotton, to be able to compete with Bangladesh, China and Vietnam and not lose out on the Make in India campaign.
"A poor man wearing synthetic shirt of Rs.200 bears highest excise and tax burden, whereas a rich man wearing cotton shirt of Rs.1,000 bears no excise or taxes," said Anil Rajvanshi, chairman of the Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC).
"This has fragmented and weakened the industry. You have to save this industry or else we will not be able to sustain and give way to countries like China, Vietnam and Bangladesh to march past India," Rajvanshi wrote in a letter to Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
He presented a lot of metrics in his letter to push for the case of domestic textile industry.
"The import of fibres, filament yarns and spun yarns mostly of polyester in India has increased by 20 percent in 2014-15 compared to the previous year. The imports are predominantly from China," he said.
The letter said imports of to Rs.5,000 crore in between April 2013 and February this year had depressed market of several man-made fibers. In addition to the $825 million worth of import of fibres, filament and spun yarn, fabric imports topped $780 million in 2014-15.
"The high excise duty makes domestic produce expensive and imports cheaper," the letter added.
It said India imported 12.5 million pieces of garments from Bangladesh, which could be valued at around Rs.12,000 crore. "All these are synthetic as cotton imports and those of cotton yarn and cotton fabrics are negligible."
The letter said the world over the consumption of man made textiles is 70 percent and that of cotton is 30 percent. But in India, it is the due to fiscal anomaly, the synthetics face a 12.5-percent excise duty while cotton and its downstreams have nil duties and taxes.