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MARKET WATCH 12 OCT 2017

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Economic slowdown a concern, need to push growth, jobs: PM Narendra Modi’s advisors

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) in its first meeting Wednesday stressed on the need to “accelerate economic growth and employment over the next six months” and identified 10 areas on which it will prepare reports and make recommendations to the government over the next few months. The Council also recognised the need for instituting an Economy Track Monitor, using lead indicators and triggers for action, based on informed assessment and analysis. “There is a consensus among us about the various reasons that have caused the slowdown” and the Council will provide specific recommendations that can be implemented in the near term, its chairman Bibek Debroy said after the meeting. There is a lot of concern about the economy today and the Council will “work as a sounding board of ideas”, EAC member Ashima Goyal said. The EAC identified ten themes on which reports will be prepared: economic growth; employment and job creation; informal sector and integration; fiscal framework; monetary policy; public expenditure; institutions of economic governance; agriculture & animal husbandry; and, patterns of consumption & production and social sector. The other members on the committee include Surjit Bhalla and Rathin Roy, along with Ratan Watal, principal advisor, Niti Aayog, as member secretary. Debroy said the Council will work in consultation with various stakeholders, including sectoral ministries, states, experts, institutions, regulators and the private sector. Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian made a presenstation to the Council and focused attention on accelerating economic growth, including investments and exports-using a combination of different policy levers. EAC member Rathin Roy said that “the consensus is there is economic slowdown, we will examine its causes”. Asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi has referred any specific issues out of these ten to the Council to advise on, Debroy said: “There are issues which the Prime Minister has already referred to us but we will not tell you what those issues are.” While constituting the EAC last month, the government said the Council can up issues “either suo-motu or on reference from the Prime Minister or anyone else”. To a query on job losses in the economy post demonetisation and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Debroy said this “issue was not examined in today’s meeting.” He also alluded to the lack of adequate employment data to make any conclusive assessment of the job scenario in the country. “Whether we like it or not, we don’t have good data on employment and jobs,” he said. The constitution of the EAC-PM came in the backdrop of growing concerns over the pace of growth in the economy and the slow pace of job creation. In the quarter April to June 2017, the GDP growth fell to 5.7 per cent from 7.9 per cent in the corresponding period last year. The reduction in growth came despite the government stepping up expenditure in the initial months. The Council wants the government to stick to its fiscal consolidation road map and has suggested that stimulus to the industry should not be at the cost of fiscal prudence. When asked whether the government can breach fiscal deficit to provide stimulus to the industry, Debroy said, “There is a consensus (among the members)… that the fiscal consolidation exercise should not be deviated.” The government pegged the fiscal deficit target at 3.2 per cent for the current fiscal and 3 per cent for the next financial year. “The deliberations of the new EAC-PM also reflect its value addition as an independent institutional mechanism, to provide informed advice to the Prime Minister on addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and related aspects…The Council views its role as also being a catalyst for action, by both developing and enabling action recommendations through different stakeholders,” the Council said in a press statement. The Council will have another formal meeting in November. “Today, it was the first formal meeting. We will also have smaller meetings with stakeholders…We will also have another formal meeting next month and give recommendations to the prime minister,” Debroy said. In 2014, the NDA government had disbanded the PMEAC which was earlier headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C Rangarajan. The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister was first constituted by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh on December 29, 2004, under the chairmanship of C Rangarajan. The work of the council included offering advice to the Prime Minister on policy matters from time to time. Besides, it also prepared a monthly report on economic developments at home and abroad for the Prime Minister.

Source: Indian Express

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GSTR-1: Over 46 lakh taxpayers file final sales GST returns for July

Over 45.99 lakh taxpayers filed their final sales GST returns or GSTR-1 returns for July till October 10, the last date for filing the sales returns, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) said in a release. The GSTR-1 returns filed for July accounted for about 77 per cent of the total eligible 59.57 lakh taxpayers for the first month of the indirect tax regime. Around 54.78 lakh taxpayers filed GSTR-3B return or the summary return for July, while 47.13 lakh taxpayers filed GSTR-3B returns for August till October 10, the release said. GSTR-2 return for July has to be filed from October 11-31 and GSTR-3 return for July has to be filed up to November 10. “More than 33 crore invoices were filed and processed by GST system along with GSTR-1 of July. Out of this majority were uploaded (24.2 crore) using offline tool developed by GSTN whereas data of 3.26 crore invoices were entered by taxpayers online. Data of around 5.56 crore invoices came through GST Suvidha Providers,” the GSTN release said. The GSTR-2A of all buyers have been populated with the details of invoices uploaded along with GSTR-1 by suppliers. Following this, the buyer needs to accept the invoice, if it belongs to him and all values match with the invoice and reject, if the invoice does not belong to him. The buyers will be able to modify the taxable value, tax amount if they do not match with the invoice in GSTR-2A and can keep it pending, if the goods or services have not been received in July, the release said. Taxpayers with 50-100 purchase invoices (business to business) can do this activity on the portal itself, while those having more invoices can use latest offline tool, which has provision to download 2A and work on the same, it said. Once a taxpayer takes above mentioned action on GSTR-2A, it becomes his GSTR-2, which can be then uploaded using the same offline tool on GST portal. On September 26, the government had said that it has garnered Rs 90,669 crore from GST in August, with about 55 per cent of the 68.20 lakh eligible taxpayers filing their GSTR-3B returns for the month. The collections in August were lower than July, when the government had collected Rs 92,283 crore as on August 29, which was later revised upwards to Rs 94,063 crore (as on August 31). Tax experts said that the compliance rate for filing the sales GST returns is low and that the government should take corrective steps for the same. “The number of GSTR 1 returns are much lower than what one would have expected, particularly because this forms the basis for the purchaser to claim input credit. It is possible that many dealers who have the GST registration have nil turnover and hence have not filed the return. Government will have to investigate the reasons for low level of compliance and take corrective steps,” Pratik Jain, Partner and Leader Indirect Tax, PwC said.

Source: Indian Express

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World Bank reduces India GDP growth forecast to 7% for 2017-18

New Delhi: After remaining the world’s fastest-growing region for eight consecutive quarters, South Asia has slipped to the third position behind East Asia and the Pacific regions, as India’s economy slowed to its lowest level in 13 quarters, the World Bank said on Monday. This is at a time when other South Asian nations like Bangladesh and Nepal have registered strong economic growth. In the June quarter of 2017-18, the Indian economy decelerated to 5.7%, lowest since the economy grew at 5.3% in the March quarter of 2013-14. In its South Asia Economic Focus (Fall 2017), the World Bank reduced India’s GDP growth forecast to 7% for 2017-18 from 7.2% estimated earlier, blaming disruptions caused by demonetisation and the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), while maintaining at the same time that the economy would claw back to grow at 7.4% by 2019-20. Both the Asian Development Bank as well as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have also cut their growth projections for India to 7% and 6.7%, respectively, for fiscal 2017-18. The World Bank said the unexpected slowdown in India’s growth story is because of the delayed consequence of demonetization, sharp decline in the growth rate of public expenditures and uncertainty created by the introduction of GST. The multi-lateral lending agency said that because the main explanations offered for the slowdown of the last quarter refer to temporary shocks, the growth rate could be expected to bounce back. “Moreover, the unusually low growth rate of the last quarter could also be affected by measurement error. In India, final growth rate figures often differ considerably from first estimates; on average they tend to be 0.5 percentage points higher. The combination of temporary shocks and measurement error suggests no need for a policy correction,” it added. However, it cautioned that since economic growth has been slowing down for the last five consecutive quarters, there could be more reasons at play. “Over this period, imports increased sharply while private investment declined. Behind these trends lies a combination of large public sector borrowing (especially by the states), relatively sticky interest rates despite decreasing inflation, and an increasingly stressed financial sector,” it said, advising the government to appropriately adjust its “economic policy stance” without further elaboration. The Bank said India’s growth is projected to increase gradually to 7.4% by 2019-20, underpinned by a recovery in private investments, which are expected to be crowded-in by the recent increase in public capex and an improvement in the investment climate (partly due to the passage of GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, and measures to attract foreign direct investment). It projected inflation and external conditions to remain stable for next two years. “Two consecutive years of normal monsoon are expected to further stabilize prices and offset the increase in global oil prices. The rupee appreciated vis-à-vis the US dollar and is expected to remain resilient. The current account deficit is expected to remain below 2% of GDP and fully financed by FDI inflows,” it added. The World Bank expects fiscal consolidation to continue, driven more by the centre than states. “The Union government adopted a neutral fiscal policy stance in FY2017, where most of the consolidation is predicated on privatization receipts. The implementation of GST may provide an additional impetus to revenue collections in the medium term. States’ fiscal deficit could rise in the near-term due to increasing pressures from contingent liabilities,” it added. However, the World Bank cautioned that the most substantial medium-term risks are associated with private investment recovery, which continues to face several domestic impediments such as corporate debt overhang, regulatory and policy challenges, and the risk of an imminent increase in US interest rates. “If the internal bottlenecks are not alleviated, subdued private investment would put downside pressures on India’s potential growth. Downside risks to the global economy—and accordingly to export growth and capital flows—are also substantial given the possibility of monetary policy normalization in the USA and risks of protectionism,” it warned.

Source: Live mint

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Slowdown reflects an investment in India’s future, better years are ahead

India is an emerging market standout. The country was one of only a handful of large economies marked down in forecasts from the International Monetary Fund this week. India’s gross domestic product is expected to rise 6.7 percent this year, compared with a previous projection of 7.2 percent. Next year’s estimate was also lowered. Midway through their term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team are acutely aware of the soft patch and didn’t wait for the IMF. Modi, his ministers and the ruling BJP’s advocates were out in force last week. Much of the response is substantive, some of it unnecessarily defensive. Why so defensive? The BJP’s political position, on paper, is absolutely dominant. It won a thumping majority in parliament in 2014, and more than half of the 26 state governments are in BJP hands, more than ever before. The Congress party, the main opposition, is kind of nowhere. Some pro-government talking points go along the lines of “Well, when Congress has been in government, they had slowdowns too.” Or they say India is suffering because global demand is weak — a highly contestable line. Back to those forecasts. The peers with which India is closely associated — Brazil, China and Russia — all got slight upgrades, admittedly from a lower base. In the case of Brazil, a very low base. Overall world forecasts were raised a touch. The encouraging news is that in terms of impact, this is a pretty good year for India to miss the party. The others can easily make up for the lost ground. And it’s true that many countries would be envious of an expansion north of 6 percent. India’s relative slowdown is a sensitive subject at home. Modi leaned into the issue in a speech last week, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spent Friday evening announcing cuts in tax rates on dozens of items. Taxes deserved attention. Most observers, including the IMF, attribute part of India’s funk to the implementation of a sweeping nationwide sales tax reform. The other factor is the withdrawal of some banknotes from circulation late last year, a radical step referred to as “demonetization,” aimed at curbing the potential for graft. The tax shakeup was worthwhile, replacing a hodgepodge of sales tax rates that dotted the nation and differed from state to state. Modi has been justifiably praised for the move, one that governments of all stripes balked at for decades. After all, what’s a big majority for if you don’t use it do big, hard things? That doesn’t mean there weren’t problems with implementation. Jaitley’s cut tax rates on 27 items and extended the period for small businesses to file returns. Critically, exporters were allowed to keep previously existing exemptions until March next year. The government has made boosting exports a priority. In a democracy this large, attempting reforms on this scale, there were always going to be compromises and some operational sticking points. Better to address sooner than later. That is what’s happening. Better times may lie ahead. The IMF, for one, looks forward to a re-acceleration of growth after these blips related to the tax reform, saying it is “among several key structural reforms under implementation that are expected to help push growth above 8 percent in the medium term.” It is a vast market. It’s important for democracies to prove they can still do big things. Here’s to better years ahead.

Source: Financial Express

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Strong rupee hits textile exporters hard

Indian textile exporters are facing difficult times since the past few months which have led to constrained growth as well as pressures on profitability, which has been aggravated by a strong rupee. Exporters have been facing subdued demand trends in the key importing countries as well as intense competitive pressures from nations such as Bangladesh and Vietnam over the past few years. In addition, unfavourable currency movements and high raw material prices in the past six to nine months as well as recent revision in duty drawback rates have only added to their woes. With exports accounting for more than one-third of the Indian textile market, this is a matter of concern, notwithstanding a large domestic market, says a new report from ratings firm ICRA. The slowdown in apparels segment has mainly been on account of subdued demand conditions in key textile-consuming regions of United States of America (US) and European Union (EU) which account for a majority of exports from India. This apart, cotton-yarn exports have been under pressure on account of a decline in demand from China, which used to account for more than 40 per cent of total cotton yarn exports from India till last year and accounted for only around 17 per cent of India's cotton yarn exports in the first four months of FY2018. India appears to be the worst-affected nation amongst cotton-yarn suppliers to China, as is evident in a decline in India's share in China's cotton yarn imports to 8 per cent in Q1 FY2018 vis-a-vis 20 per cent and 25 per cent in Q1 FY2017 and Q1 FY2016, respectively. The pressures on textile exporters have become more severe with strengthening of Indian Rupee against currencies of key competing nations during the current calendar year, which reduced competitiveness of Indian exporters vis-a-vis their counterparts. Jayanta Roy, Senior Vice-President and Group Head, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA says, "Notwithstanding the 2 per cent depreciation in the Indian Rupee vis-a-vis the dollar in the month of September 2017, the Indian Rupee sustained its strong performance against currencies of most of the countries competing in the global textile space during much of the current calendar year." While the Indian currency has strengthened by around 5 per cent against the dollar in the eight months of calendar year 2017, currencies of other key nations competing in the textile space such as Vietnamese Dong, Bangladeshi Taka as well as Pakistani Rupee depreciated by around 0.5-2 per cent against the dollar during the same period. Further, higher input prices (primarily cotton) this year vis-a-vis last year put pressure on the profitability pressures for exporters during H1 FY2018, given the dominance of cotton in textile exports from India. While cotton prices have corrected to an extent from mid-September 2017 onwards which is expected to provide respite during H2 FY2018, recent revision in duty drawback rates is likely to exert some pressure on margins. The Government of India has recently notified revised duty drawback rates under the GST regime which are applicable to exporters with effect from October 2017 onwards. There is a downward revision in duty drawback rates for most product categories in the textile sector under the GST regime, when compared with duty drawback rates for exporters claiming Cenvat under the earlier tax regime. "Considering that GST rates for most product categories in textiles are in line with effective tax rates under the earlier tax regime and the extent of benefit from improved input credit chain post GST implementation remains to be seen. The overall impact of GST and the revised duty drawback rates on the sector is uncertain at present." Adds Roy. Notwithstanding the pressures being witnessed on profitability, debt levels across the sector are expected to decline with the industry focusing on sweating the existing assets and thereby undertaking limited debt-funded capacity additions. Further, with cotton prices easing out from mid-September 2017 onwards, profitability pressures are likely to subside from Q3 FY2018 onwards. As a result, ICRA expects the financial and credit risk profiles of most textile exporters to remain stable.

Source : Business Today

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Place Small and Medium Businesses at the Centre of India’s Export Strategy

Overcoming the problems of GST obstacles, a strong rupee and various trade facilitation needs will help our MSMEs occupy the space being vacated by China and other southeast Asian countries. Medium and small enterprises should be at the centre of the foreign trade policy as they contribute a majority to our exports. Credit: ReutersIndia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate slowed to 5.7% in the April-June period of 2017-18 from 6.1% in the preceding quarter. This is the lowest in past three years. The main reasons for such slow growth are the lingering impact of demonetisation, de-stocking ahead of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll-out leading to slow manufacturing, and shrinking exports. Growth rates of manufacturing and exports were minus 3.12% and minus 9.62% respectively during the April-June period of 2017-18 over the preceding quarter. While recent trends in Indian merchandise exports have been more or less similar as those in case of world’s exports but the cause of worry is India’s very small share in world trade. India’s share in world total merchandise exports and importswere 1.65% and 2.21% respectively in 2016. These figures present a big challenge towards enhancing our exports and firming up India’s position in many of its current trade negotiations such as the India-EU free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership for Asia and the Pacific. Though there are sector specific challenges to boost India’s exports, there are economy-wide challenges too. Trade facilitation needs: Despite various initiatives, India stands well below than its peers in terms of trade facilitation. According toWorld Bank’s Doing Business Report (WBDBR), India’s “trading across border” rank has considerably declined from 126 in 2014 to 143 in 2016. Trade cost and time are significantly higher in India as compared to neighbouring competitors. In 2016, export and import time (including both documentary and compliance) in India were144.5 hrs and 344.6 hrs, respectively, while cost to export and import (US$ per 20 containers) were 505 and 708.8, respectively. Depreciating the rupee: Appreciating rupee has reduced the price competitiveness of Indian exports. Rupee has appreciated by 5.32% against the US dollar from January-July 2017 on a monthly average basis. While this helped in reducing our import bill, it has adversely affected the Indian exports. We need to depreciate (not devaluate) the rupee to enable our exporters to trade and create jobs. The RBI has to step into the market to either reduce the interest rate or buy up dollars. Low utilisation of trade agreements: Despite having a number of trade agreements, Indian exporters have not been able to reap their true benefits. This is mainly due to challenges emanating from higher sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures and technical barriers, and complications in fulfilling rules of origin conditionalities. India’s average usage rate of trade agreements is 27%, the highest being 40% in case of India-Singapore comprehensive economic cooperation agreement and lowest being 14% in case of India-MERCOSUR preferential trade agreements. This shows that our traders are still using most-favoured nation (MFN) tariffs while doing trade with free-trade agreement (FTA) partners, as against preferential tariff rates. Difficulties arising out of GST: GST was pronounced and sold as the largest tax reform in independent India and indeed might help the Indian economy grow in the coming years. However, it has posed a number of problems for our traders. Some of them are blockage of funds due to non-refund of input credits, non-inclusion of petroleum products and electricity under GST making their purchase costlier, procedural difficulties in its compliance, especially for MSMEs. Majority of the export promotion councils are demanding tax exemptions on exports. Miscellaneous challenges: There are several other challenges such as declining global demand, high credit cost due to high interest rate, high logistic cost due to higher petroleum prices, tariff advantage to competitors such as Bangladesh due their LDC (least developed country) status, inappropriate labour laws having weak links between productivity and wages, lack of competitiveness due to non-compliance with quality standards.

A proposed basket of measures

In order to enhance our exports, we should have country-centric rather than area-centric strategy. This is because different countries in the same area may have varying import standards and procedures. Therefore, India needs to develop a comprehensive dataset of its trade transactions to prepare future policies. In short, keeping these challenges in mind and in the wake of industry expectations from mid-term review of foreign trade policy, it is a challenging time for the commerce and industry minister of India to introduce a basket of measures for the growth of our exports. Some immediate actions may include the following: Firstly, a comprehensive review of various export promotion schemes is required as not only GST has increased input cost for various manufacturing products but also it is a reality time for India’s commitments to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Along with simplification of rules of origin provisions in our FTAs, the focus should be on research and development and raising standards of Indian products. Secondly, medium and small enterprises should be at the centre of the foreign trade policy as they contribute a majority to our exports – in this regard, they should be incentivised in a WTO-compliant manner to grab the manufacturing space being vacated by China and other east and southeast asian countries. E-commerce is the key for future business – the foreign trade policy (FTP) should have a separate chapter on it, dealing with both on a business-to-business perspective, and business-to-consumer basis. Thirdly, agricultural products are important constituent of Indian exports but there has been a steady decline in their exports during 2014-15 to 2016-17 – there should be a separate policy on enhancing agricultural trade. For reducing the time and cost of doing trade at the port level, all export-import transactions should be brought under the ‘Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade.’ The authors work for CUTS International, a global think-tank on trade, regulations and governance.

Source: The Wire

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Profit pressure of textiles exporters to ease by Q3 of FY18: ICRA report

Exporters have been facing subdued demand trends in the key importing countries as well as competitive pressures from Bangladesh and Vietnam over the past few years, the report says. With cotton prices easing from mid-September, pressures on textiles exporters' profit is likely to subside from the third quarter of this financial years, ICRA said in a report. The pressures being witnessed on profitability, debt levels across the sector are expected to decline with the industry focusing on sweating the existing assets and undertaking limited debt-funded capacity additions, it said. Indian textile exporters are facing difficult times since the past few months, which have led to constrained growth as well as pressures on profitability, the rating outfit said. Exporters have been facing subdued demand trends in the key importing countries as well as competitive pressures from Bangladesh and Vietnam over the past few years, it added. In addition, unfavourable currency movements and high raw material prices in the last 6-9 months and revision in duty drawback rates have added to their woes, ICRA said. With exports accounting for more than one-third of the Indian textile market, this is a matter of concern, even as there is a large domestic market, it added. The slowdown in apparels segment has mainly been on account of subdued demand conditions in key textile-consuming regions of the US and European Union, which account for a majority of exports from India. Besides, cotton-yarn exports have been under pressure due to decline in demand from China, which used to account for more than 40 percent of total cotton yarn exports from India till last year. Cotton yarn exports accounted for only 17 percent of the total in the first four months of FY18, it added. Pressures on textile exporters have become more severe with strengthening of Indian rupee against currencies of key competing nations during the current calendar year, which reduced competitiveness of Indian exporters from their counterparts. "Notwithstanding the 2 percent depreciation in the Indian rupee against the US dollar in September, the rupee sustained its strong performance against currencies of most of the countries competing in the global textile space during much of the current calendar year," ICRA Senior Vice-President and Group Head, Corporate Sector Ratings, Jayanta Roy said. Further, he added that GST rates for most product categories in textiles are in line with effective tax rates under the earlier tax regime and the benefits from improved input credit chain post GST implementation remains to be seen. The overall impact of GST and the revised duty drawback rates on the sector is uncertain at present, he said.

Source: moneycontrol.com

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‘GST Council has resolved textile sector’s most issues’

Surat: Union minister of state for road transport and highways, shipping, chemical and fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya stated that the textile associations are satisfied as the recently concluded Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council meeting had resolved most of their issues. However, power loom weavers and textile traders had expressed their unhappiness over the decisions then. Addressing media persons here on Tuesday, Mandaviya said, "I have been to Surat on more than four occasions and held meetings with various segments of the textile sectors. A list of 12 demands from three segments was made and presented to the GST Council. I am happy to inform that all the demands have been accepted." Mandaviya stated that the GST Council reduced the GST on yarn from 18 per cent to 12 per cent, the reduction will result in less accumulation of input tax credit (ITC) by weavers, 100 per cent credit is now available on duty payment on input stock, composition scheme has been extended for turnover up to Rs 1 crore and quarterly return filing now on for units having turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore etc. About yarn dealers and spinners not having reduced GST yet, Mandaviya said, "The decision was only taken at the GST Council meeting on October 6. The notification to this effect is likely to be issued in a day or two. The implementation of the same will be done soon." When he was told that textile traders and power loom weavers were unhappy with the GST Council's decision, Mandaviya said, "When the GST law was implemented, the central government had instructed the GST Council to meet every month to resolve the issues. If the weavers and traders have any issues, they can meet us and we will put forth their demands before the council." The Federation of Surat Textile Traders' Association (FOSTTA) and the Federation of Gujarat Weavers' Association (FOGWA) jointly decided not to celebrate Diwali. The markets on Ring Road, Sahara Darwaja and Salabatpura will not be illuminated as a mark of protest against the Centre. "Unfinished fabrics to finished fabrics, saris and dress material all these have to pass at least 15 different stages. At all the stages, there is 5 per cent GST. We have been demanding that there should be single GST at the final stage, which has not been accepted. Also, the composite scheme of Rs 1 crore and the quarterly return for those having turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore is not of any use to the traders," FOSTTA president Manoj Agarwal said.

Source: The Times of India

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GSTR-1: Over 46 lakh taxpayers file final sales GST returns for July

Over 45.99 lakh taxpayers filed their final sales GST returns or GSTR-1 returns for July till October 10, the last date for filing the sales returns, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) said in a release. The GSTR-1 returns filed for July accounted for about 77 per cent of the total eligible 59.57 lakh taxpayers for the first month of the indirect tax regime. Around 54.78 lakh taxpayers filed GSTR-3B return or the summary return for July, while 47.13 lakh taxpayers filed GSTR-3B returns for August till October 10, the release said. GSTR-2 return for July has to be filed from October 11-31 and GSTR-3 return for July has to be filed up to November 10. “More than 33 crore invoices were filed and processed by GST system along with GSTR-1 of July. Out of this majority were uploaded (24.2 crore) using offline tool developed by GSTN whereas data of 3.26 crore invoices were entered by taxpayers online. Data of around 5.56 crore invoices came through GST Suvidha Providers,” the GSTN release said. The GSTR-2A of all buyers have been populated with the details of invoices uploaded along with GSTR-1 by suppliers. Following this, the buyer needs to accept the invoice, if it belongs to him and all values match with the invoice and reject, if the invoice does not belong to him. The buyers will be able to modify the taxable value, tax amount if they do not match with the invoice in GSTR-2A and can keep it pending, if the goods or services have not been received in July, the release said. Taxpayers with 50-100 purchase invoices (business to business) can do this activity on the portal itself, while those having more invoices can use latest offline tool, which has provision to download 2A and work on the same, it said. Once a taxpayer takes above mentioned action on GSTR-2A, it becomes his GSTR-2, which can be then uploaded using the same offline tool on GST portal. On September 26, the government had said that it has garnered Rs 90,669 crore from GST in August, with about 55 per cent of the 68.20 lakh eligible taxpayers filing their GSTR-3B returns for the month. The collections in August were lower than July, when the government had collected Rs 92,283 crore as on August 29, which was later revised upwards to Rs 94,063 crore (as on August 31). Tax experts said that the compliance rate for filing the sales GST returns is low and that the government should take corrective steps for the same. “The number of GSTR 1 returns are much lower than what one would have expected, particularly because this forms the basis for the purchaser to claim input credit. It is possible that many dealers who have the GST registration have nil turnover and hence have not filed the return. Government will have to investigate the reasons for low level of compliance and take corrective steps,” Pratik Jain, Partner and Leader Indirect Tax, PwC said.

Source: Indian Express

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Monsanto settles GM cotton dispute with three Indian seed firms

The dispute sparked a series of government actions that prompted the world's biggest seed company to withdraw from some businesses in India. Three leading Indian cotton seed makers have settled an intellectual property dispute with Monsanto Co over its genetically modified (GM) seed technology, partly ending a legal tussle that has drawn in the Indian and US governments. Ajeet Seeds, Kaveri Seed Co Ltd and Ankur Seeds were among six Indian companies that delayed payments to Monsanto, demanding a cut in royalties they paid to the U.S. firm to licence its technology. "The arbitration proceedings with each of these (three) companies have concluded by way of consent orders which record the mutually discussed and accepted settlement terms," Shilpa Divekar Nirula, CEO of Monsanto India, wrote in a letter to India's farm minister last month, and seen by Reuters. A ministry spokesman said he was not aware of the letter. The dispute sparked a series of government actions that prompted the world's biggest seed company to withdraw from some businesses in India, one of the world's most important seed markets, Reuters revealed in a special report earlier this year. Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) (MMB), a joint venture between Monsanto and local firm Mahyco, licenses a gene that produces its own pesticide to more than 45 local cotton seed companies in lieu of royalties and an upfront payment. Acting on complaints by some local seed companies that MMB's royalties were too high, the farm ministry last year cut the fees these local firms paid to Missouri-based Monsanto. Since then, Monsanto - which is being bought by Germany's Bayer for $66 billion - has been at loggerheads with the seed firms and India's government over how much it can charge for its GM cotton seeds, costing it tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue a year. Ajeet Seeds and Ankur Seeds told Reuters on Wednesday they had resolved their differences with Monsanto. Calls to Kaveri Seeds' CEO GV Bhaskar Rao were not answered. "In the larger interest of Indian farmers and agriculture, we have settled our differences with Monsanto," said MG Shembekar, managing director of Ankur Seeds. It's business as usual" with Monsanto now, added Sameer Mulay, managing director of Ajeet Seeds. Neither disclosed the terms of the resolution. However, the Sept. 19 letter to Farm Minister Radha Mohan Singh said Monsanto has yet to settle with Sri Rama Agri Genetics, Amar Biotech and Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd (NSL), along with two NSL group companies, Prabhat Agri Biotech and Pravardhan Seeds. "While we remain committed to amicable dialogue with any disputing party, and despite our numerous attempts to arrive at a closure, the outstanding disputes with a few companies ... continue," Monsanto India's Nirula wrote. Monsanto says NSL, based in the southern city of Hyderabad, owes it more than USD 20 million in royalty payments. M. Prabhakara Rao, NSL's chairman and managing director, did not respond to requests seeking comment.

Earlier this year, citing a local law that excludes seeds from being patented, Rao told Reuters that Monsanto should never have been allowed to collect royalties after an initial payment to use its technology. Or, at the very least, he added, prices should have been set by the government. New Delhi approved the first GM cotton seed trait in 2003 and an upgraded variety in 2006, helping transform India into the world's top producer and second-largest exporter of the fibre. "MMB has made several unsuccessful attempts to amicably resolve the bilateral dispute that resulted in such withholding of amounts payable under long-standing agreements," said a Monsanto India spokesman. "Currently, these matters are pending arbitration in various legal forums."

Source: moneycontrol.com

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Gujarat apparel policy focusses on job creation

AHMEDABAD : In poll mode, the BJP-led Gujarat government on Wednesday made two important announcements to encourage investments in the small businesses aimed at employment generation. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced setting up of 16 new GIDC estates (industrial estates) across the State with the potential to generate one lakh new jobs.

Apparel policy

He also announced the new Garments & Apparel Policy 2017 aiming to use the cotton crop of the State to achieve the complete value-chain of farm-to-fibre, fibre-to-fabric, fabric-to-fashion and fashion to foreign markets. “The decision is taken to encourage new investments in garment making. The State has the advantage of being the largest cotton producer. So far, we supplied cotton to other States. It is time we encouraged our entrepreneurs to invest in garmenting,” Rupani told a press meet this morning. The State government will also provide incentives for garment unit owners for generating employment by providing subsidy in wages. The women workers will get ₹4,000 subsidy, while their male counterparts will get ₹3,500. Rupani stated that Gujarat already has large spinning capacity, which will add to the weaving and garmenting thereby achieving the complete value chain. “Our aim is to provide employment to women and create investment opportunities in the complete value chain from cotton to fabric to clothing.”

Industrial estates

He also announced setting up of new 16 GIDC estates in the State. “These GIDCs will unlock the growth in remote areas and SMEs. Spread across 2,400 hectares in 16 villages, the GIDCs will have the potential to accommodate about 15,000 factories,” Rupani said.  Notably, a day before, on Tuesday, the State government had announced reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel by 4 per cent.

Source: Business Line

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Gujarat : Garment makers say apparel policy mere election stunt

Surat: Manufacturers of semi-stitched garments in the country's largest man-made fabric (MMF) hub Surat are not very excited over the garment and apparel policy-2017 announced by chief minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday. From just few units of semi-stitched women's garments some eight years ago, the city boasts of more than 250 units employing over 62,000 garment workers. The units have been manufacturing semi-stitched suit-dupatta and salwar kameez with exquisite designs. The monthly manufacturing capacity of the units is pegged at over 4 lakh garments, which are supplied to Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab. Owner of Asian Fashion, a composite unit manufacturing salwar kameez and suit-dupatta, Dinesh Zaveri said, "The garment units are operating from the last eight years and providing employment to 62,000 workers. We started our units without any incentives. We work with our talent to earn our livelihood." "Gujarat is going to polls in December. I think this is yet another move of the ruling government to appease the textile sector with the policy announcement ahead of the election" Zaveri said. Asked about the incentive in the new scheme announced by the government, Zaveri said, "It will certainly benefit those planning to set up new units in the city." Industry sources said there is not a single unit manufacturing suiting and shirting and other apparels including men's wear. The Apparel Park SEZ located at Sachin has few units manufacturing apparel and garments and exporting directly to foreign countries. In 2010, the unit owners had sent the proposal of de-notifying the apparel park from SEZ status, in order to cater to the domestic market. However, the de-notification demand is yet to be accepted by the central government. Chairman of Federation of Indian Art Silk Weaving Industry (FIASWI) Bharat Gandhi said, "The apparel and garment units are not viable in the city like Surat. Compared to Tirupur, Andhra Pradesh, the labour cost in Surat is very high. The government has launched the incentive scheme for the cotton sector, while Surat is purely polyester based centre."

Source: The Times of India

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Smriti to launch textile fair at Gr Noida expo mart today

GREATER NOIDA: Union textiles minister Smriti Zubin Irani will inaugurate the 44th edition of Indian Handicrafts and Gifts (IHGF)-Delhi Fair at India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida, on Thursday. Recognised by Limca Book of World Records as the world's largest congregation of handicraft exhibitors under one roof, the B2B IHGF-Delhi Fair will go on till October 16 and showcase nearly 3,000 exhibitors, 14 product categories, 2000 plus products in a 1,90,000-sqm display area with over 100 participating countries (of buyers, wholesalers and retailers), including the US, the UK, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, India. Organised by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) the five-day fair is the biggest platform in the NCR for the promotion of handicrafts business. According to OP Prahladka, chairman of EPCH, a quest for seeking something different, unusual and new sees buyers from all over the world visiting the IHGF-Delhi fair each edition. EPCH executive director Rakesh Kumar said that overseas buyers from across the globe at IHGF will include wholesalers, distributors, chain stores, departmental stores, retailers, mail order companies, brand owners, buying houses and designers and forecasters.

Source: The Times of India

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Global Crude oil price of Indian Basket was US$ 55.07 per bbl on 11.10.2017

The international crude oil price of Indian Basket as computed/published today by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was US$ 55.07 per barrel (bbl) on 11.10.2017. This was higher than the price of US$ 54.79 per bbl on previous publishing day of 10.10.2017.

In rupee terms, the price of Indian Basket increased to Rs. 3594.65 per bbl on 11.10.2017 as compared to Rs. 3576.02 per bbl on 10.10.2017. Rupee closed unchanged at Rs. 65.27 per US$ on 11.10.2017 as compared per US$ on 10.10.2017. The table below gives details in this regard:

Particulars

Unit

Price on October 11, 2017 (Previous trading day i.e. 10.10.2017)

Crude Oil (Indian Basket)

($/bbl)

             55.07           (54.79)

(Rs/bbl)

            3594.65       (3576.02)

Exchange Rate

(Rs/$)

             65.27          (65.27)

 

Source : PIB

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 2017-10-11

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1354.99

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

VSF

2451.89

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

ASF

2672.03

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

Polyester POY

1267.70

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

Nylon FDY

3446.31

USD/Ton

1.34%

10/11/2017

40D Spandex

5920.98

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

Polyester DTY

3491.86

USD/Ton

0.44%

10/11/2017

Nylon POY

5738.80

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

Acrylic Top 3D

1533.38

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

Polyester FDY

3097.13

USD/Ton

0.99%

10/11/2017

Nylon DTY

2808.67

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

Viscose Long Filament

1624.47

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

3051.58

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

32S Polyester Yarn

2026.80

USD/Ton

-0.37%

10/11/2017

45S T/C Yarn

2899.76

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

40S Rayon Yarn

2171.03

USD/Ton

-0.69%

10/11/2017

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2459.48

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

45S Polyester Yarn

3218.58

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2444.30

USD/Ton

0%

10/11/2017

10S Denim Fabric

1.43

USD/Meter

0%

10/11/2017

32S Twill Fabric

0.88

USD/Meter

0%

10/11/2017

40S Combed Poplin

1.23

USD/Meter

0%

10/11/2017

30S Rayon Fabric

0.68

USD/Meter

0%

10/11/2017

45S T/C Fabric

0.72

USD/Meter

0%

10/11/2017

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.15182 USD dtd. 11/10/2017). The prices given above are as quoted from Global Textiles.com.  SRTEPC is not responsible for the correctness of the same.

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China says EU, US trade moves lack awareness of WTO rules

China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday that the European Union’s new trade rules against Chinese imports lacked awareness of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, urging the EU to abide by those requirements. Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng made the remarks at a regular briefing in Beijing. The European Union agreed to new rules last week to guard against lower-priced Chinese imports, ending 18 months of wrangling over trade ties with Beijing. When asked about the United States deferring a decision on anti-dumping tariffs on imports of Chinese aluminium foil and China’s non-market economy status, Gao said the phrase non-market economy showed “Cold War” thinking. The concept of non-market economy countries does not exist in WTO rules and has only been adopted by some of the organisation’s individual members, Gao said. The Commerce Department in August imposed preliminary countervailing duties of about 17 percent to 81 percent on imports of Chinese aluminium foil. The Department will rule on the anti-dumping tariffs and whether to declare China a non-market economy on Nov. 30. China will report preliminary data for its September aluminium exports on Friday. Exports of the metal have been slipping in recent months, partly because of the U.S. measures, analysts say.

Source: Financial Express

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Pakistan Central Cotton Committee discusses restructuring

The restructuring committee of the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) met for the first time recently to discuss its restructuring plan to improve performance. The meeting, chaired by National Assembly member Chaudhry Asad-ur-Rahman, discussed ginning, fibre improvement and research aspects to produce quality products to attract international buyers. The committee took stock of crop varieties and technologies for better and more yield. It was appraised of the development of new areas and situation of existing crop and outreach activities, a Pakistani news agency quoted cotton commissioner Khalid Abdullah as saying. The restructuring committee comprises four members of the National Assembly, ministry of textile industry secretary and two members of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), he said. The committee felt the need for technology transfer to private firms by activating the applied research departments in government sector and enhancing outreach of services departments for marketing, he added.

Source: Fibre2fashion

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South Asia no longer world's fastest growing region: WB

After leading global growth for two years, South Asia has fallen to second place, after East Asia and the Pacific, the World Bank has said in its recently released report. Regional economic growth is expected to slow to 6.9 per cent in 2017 from 7.5 per cent in 2016, but growth could rebound to 7.1 per cent in 2018 with the right mix of policies and reforms. The slowdown in South Asia is due to both temporary shocks and longer-term challenges. It has mostly been driven by internal factors, most notably in India, such as a decrease in private investment, and an increase in imports and government spending, finds the World Bank’s twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus (SAEF) titled ‘Growth out of the Blue’. “While growth rates in South Asia largely remain robust given the economic shocks that some countries in the region have faced, countries should continue to actively address their growing trade and fiscal deficits,” said Annette Dixon, the World Bank South Asia region vice president. “With the right mix of policies to respond to challenges, we remain confident that South Asian countries can accelerate their growth to create more opportunities and prosperity for their people.” Given its weight in the region, India sets the pace for South Asia. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to slow down to 7.0 per cent in 2017, due to surging imports and declining private investment along with the effects from withdrawing large amounts of banknotes and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). However, India’s growth is expected to rebound to 7.3 per cent in 2018, the report states. On Bangladesh, the report says, “The economy remains strong with accelerating industrial production and resilient services. However, growth is expected to moderate this year. Deficits are widening as export growth and remittances have weakened, which should be monitored and addressed along with increasing stresses on the financial sector and uncertainties around the upcoming elections.” Sri Lanka’s economy is projected to grow at 4.6 per cent in 2017 and achieve 5 per cent growth in the years ahead. “Public finances and reserves have improved despite a high budget deficit and public debt. Frequent natural disasters continue to weaken economic performance and are likely to increase poverty. Accelerating reforms to promote competitiveness, better governance, and a more balanced budget are critical to ensure sustained growth and development.”

Source: Fibre2fashion

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AfDB Launches Training Programme To Grow Africa’s Textile Industry

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – The African Development Bank (AfDB) and its partners have launched a specialized training programme for entrepreneurs and startups in the textile, apparel and accessories (TA&A) sector in Africa. The training is part of the AfDB’s Fashionomics Africa initiative aimed at increasing Africa’s participation in the global textile industry supply chain. The project phase kicked off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on October 4, in partnership with the Hub of Africa 2017 and Hivos International. This initial phase targeted the Ethiopian Fashion Designers Association (FDA) as well as designers, fashion entrepreneurs and students attending the Hub of Africa 2017 event. Sixty-four out of the 95 participants were women. Other sessions will also take place in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire. “The Fashionomics masterclasses intend to give a better grasp of establishing and building a fashion brand (from idea to execution). From putting together a first production line as a one-person enterprise to building a team that shares a common brand philosophy,” said Emanuela Gregorio, Gender, Innovation and Creative Industries Economist at the AfDB. Ethiopia has one of the most dynamic textile/fashion industries on the continent with tremendous potential for growth, creating more jobs, especially for women and youth. As production costs rise in Asia, Africa offers the last frontier in the search for new apparel sourcing markets. With a strong apparel tradition, a large and entrepreneurial workforce, and the right incentives, Ethiopia is regarded as a compelling new sourcing destination for global brands. However, Ethiopia also has a deep well-spring of talent among fashion designers and small tailors, who can serve both the global, domestic, and regional markets. “The underlying goal is to show that successful African apparel and accessories (TA&A) entrepreneurs can demonstrate that given the right investment and access to trainings and resources, they can compete on the regional and world stage,” said Basil Jones, Gender Programme and Policy Lead Coordinator at AfDB. With an estimated annual US $ 2.5 billion in apparel exports from Africa, the TA&A sector is an important driver of growth in African economies. “As a trainer, I felt it was important to provide both early stage/ideation phase entrepreneurs and those that have ongoing businesses with insights, tools and inspiration. The peer-to-peer learning among participants and the combined knowledge in the room was the most promising outcome of the session,” said Marnix Van Holland - Programme Development Manager for Hivos international. The Founder of Africa Mosaique, Anna Getaneh (an ex-supermodel and designer), described the Ethiopian training as interactive and impactful experience between established designers and industry professionals. An Ethiopian fashion entrepreneur, Eleni Hailu, described the programme as an eye-opener. According to the Founder of Hub of Africa, Mahlet Teklemariam: “It was so innovative and creative − very engaging and hands-on training. Everyone’s feedback to me was that they absolutely loved the masterclass. They wanted more. They didn’t want the session to end.” Through Fashionomics Africa , the African Development Bank aims to support the growth of the African textile and fashion sectors through a focus on building the capacities of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the textile and clothing sector, especially for women and youth. It is aligned with the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities and the Jobs Strategy 2016-2025.

Source: Modern Ghana

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Over 36 Major Brands Pledge to Achieve Sustainable Cotton by 2025

WASHINGTON,  - 23 more of the world's most renowned clothing and textile companies, including Burberry, Adidas, Kathmandu and Timberland today pledged to use 100% sustainable cotton by 2025[1]. 36 major brands and retailers have now signed up to the 100% by 2025 pledge, including four of Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s ten largest global apparel brands[2], and three of the top 10 UK clothing retailers.[3] This announcement was made at the annual Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference, where more than 400 textile and apparel leaders have come together to discuss the most important sustainability issues facing the industry. This pledge – called the sustainable cotton communiqué - demonstrates that there is a demand for more sustainable cotton, and the commitment made by companies will help to drive sustainable practices across the sector. In turn, this will help alleviate the environmental and social costs that are too often associated with cotton production, including the over-use of pesticides, the release of greenhouse gases, the depletion of local water sources and rising costs of production. The brands that have committed to the 100% by 2025 pledge are: ASOS, EILEEN FISHER, Greenfibres, H&M, IKEA, Kering, Levi's, Lindex, M&S, Nike, Sainsbury's, F&F at Tesco, Woolworths, Adidas, A-Z, BikBOk, Burberry, Burton Snowboards, Carlings, Coyuchi, Cubus, Days like This, Dressmann, Hanky Panky, House of Fraser, Indigenous Designs, KappAhl, Kathmandu, Mantis World, MetaWear, Otto Group, prAna, SkunkFunk, Timberland, Urban, Volt and Wow.

Impact

There have been substantial gains made over the past few years in scaling the production of more sustainable forms of cotton, which is now higher than ever at over 3 million tonnes in 2016. However, companies are actively sourcing less than a fifth of this available sustainable cotton. [4] In order for sustainable cotton to become standard business practice, the amount of sustainable cotton grown and bought must increase significantly. This pledge sends a signal to millions of producers that there is a real demand for a more sustainable approach to cotton production that reduces the environmental and social costs. The companies that have pledged their support are at various stages on their journey to using sustainable cotton, with some already securing all of their cotton from sustainable sources. However, all are clear that collaboration across the sector is needed to bring about transformative change.

 Quotes fromselected companies and NGO representatives:

“The industry is awakening to the necessity of sustainably grown cotton. It is great to see additional brands joining this initiative to accelerate the momentum of cotton production in a way that will positively impact smallholder farmers, water quality and soil health.” La Rhea Pepper, Managing Director, Textile Exchange. "As a pioneer in organic cotton bedding, Coyuchi cares immensely about what our sheets, towels and apparel are made of and its greater impact on the environment and the hands that touch it from earth to factory to home. Coyuchi is excited to join the pledge and the growing momentum by likeminded brands committed to a more sustainable future.”

Eileen Mockus, CEO, Coyuchi.

“Burton has a responsibility to protect the people and playground that sustain our sport and lifestyle. We recognize that there are social and environmental costs associated with producing our products. We are continuously striving toward sustainability in our production practices, including the materials we source. Burton is proud to join otherindustry leaders in this pledge, which is aligned with our commitment to sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2020.” Donna Carpenter, CEO and Co-owner, Burton Snowboards “It’s been a long journey to reach 100% organic cotton. Kudos to all the prAna employees & global supply chain partners who put in countless hours. We couldn’t be more ecstatic about this sustainability milestone!” Russ Hopcus, President, prAna. “House of Fraser supports the Sustainable Cotton Communiqué as part of our shift to sourcing sustainable cotton in our house branded fashion and homeware products. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate to scale the uptake of sustainable materials in fashion, and applaud HRH The Prince of Wales for his leadership.” Maria Hollins, Executive Director of Buying and Design, House of Fraser. “At Timberland, we strive to be Earthkeepers in everything we do and we recognize sustainable cotton sourcing as a major part of that goal. Studies have shown the positive social benefits to farming communities as well as the potential for these practices to sequester carbon into the soil. This is exciting work as we move beyond just minimizing environmental impacts to strategically creating real environmental and social benefits within the supply chain.” Zachary Angelini, Environmental Stewardship Manager, Timberland.

Notes to Editors

This announcement, made at the annual Textile Exchange conference, follows the launch of the sustainable cotton communiqué at a high level meeting in May this year that was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales and organised by The Prince's International Sustainability Unit (ISU) in collaboration with Marks & Spencer and The Soil Association (UK).

Information about cotton and sustainability

Cotton is the most abundantly produced natural fibre and its production supports the livelihoods of over 350 million people[5]. Despite its global importance, cotton production can be beset by a number of environmental and social challenges. Whilst cotton only covers 2.4% of the world's arable land, it accounts for 6% of global pesticide use[6]. With around 2,720 litres of water needed to make just one t-shirt, conventional cotton production is highly dependent on water[7]. Higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns caused by climate change are likely to cause severe water shortages in some areas, as well as increase the prevalence of pests and diseases, negatively affect yields. The challenges of the cotton sector are also social and economic, with cotton farmers and their dependents negatively impacted by the over-use of pesticides and petroleum based fertilizers, and rising costs of production and volatile market prices. More information, including the full text of the sustainable cotton communiqué, is available on the ISU website: www.pcfisu.org/sustainable-cotton.

About Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to minimize and even reverse the negative impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by this industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Chain. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located in more than 10 countries. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.

Source: Textile Exchange

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Premium brands choose Tintex jersey fabrics

Tintex, a leading contemporary fabrics producer based in Porto, says it aims to amplify and grow an eco-sustainable strategy for all its production, investments and fabric innovations, and spread this message of change, best practice and influence throughout the textiles fashion system. Founded in the Porto region in 1998, the company develops smart and more sustainable, modern hybrid jersey fabrics designed for use in activate the contemporary fashion, sports and lingerie markets. “Tintex is making naturally advanced and dynamic product where trust, values, skills and smart manufacture is delivered through precision creativity and flexibility to its customers looking to make naturally better choices,” the company explains. “New crafted fabrics upgrade the honest organic qualities to a new level, where true performance and hi-tech smarts are delivered thanks to a Tintex expertise in specialist dyeing and finishing techniques, applications, equipment and processes.”

Filippa K, a leading Nordic fashion brand with a modern, smart approach to the responsible development of its lines, selected sustainable Lyocell by Tintex fabrics for two dresses from its Spring/Summer 2017 collection. The brand is dedicated to a carefully curated contemporary consumer wardrobe. Over the last few years, Filippa K says it created a clean slate for itself, building the company’s structure of a curious and conscious brand that recognises innovative sustainability as a way to inspire to a mindful consumption. Emblematic pieces made with Tintex fabrics for the SS 2017 are the Flowy Jersey Dress Spice, a wide strap dress with high side slits and a flowy A-line shape, and the Flowy Maxi Skirt Spice with a high front slit and a drapey feel.

EKYOG, founded in 2003, is a French fashion brand offering responsible collections. The brand has 32 stores in France and an effective online global sales channel. Ekyog chose a 3D interlock jacquard 100% recycled polyester by Tintex for a boxy teddy with a teddy collar closed by metal snaps. This item is part of the Lesia from the Natural State history collection “back to work”. Tintex materials have also been included in the Line Merry from the Bohemian Rhapsody history collection: “vintage and folk”. In detail, an interlock jacquard with 86% recycled polyester, the premium material chosen for a mid-length jacket in jacquard 3D knit with loose volume, armhole down and closed by metal snaps.

Source: Knitting Industry

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Apparel, Textile Industry Giants Unite Around SDGs at 2017 Textile Sustainability Conference

Big news has been rolling out of the Textile Exchange 2017 Textile Sustainability Conference near Washington, D.C. this week, providing evidence of the major paradigm shift taking place in the apparel and textile industry. Centered around the theme, “United by Action: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals in Textiles,” this year’s conference sees more than 500 textile and apparel leaders come together to discuss the most important sustainability issues facing the industry and developing a roadmap to 2030. In addition to announcing its newly approved associate membership to ISEAL, the global membership association for sustainability standards, Textile Exchange (TE), a global nonprofit focused on reducing the environmental and social impacts of the textile industry, released its largest preferred fibers report ever, with 95 companies reporting. This marks a 14 percent increase in participating companies over 2016’s report and a 76 percent increase since 2015. The report’s findings, which are based on the disclosure of actual consumption data through Textile Exchange’s Preferred Fiber Benchmark, highlighted a shift towards preferred fibers across participating companies. In particular, the findings recognize growth in the usage of recycled polyester (58 percent), lyocell (128 percent) and Preferred down (54 percent), the majority of which is certified to TE’s Responsible Down Standard. Organic and other preferred cottons now represent 47 percent of total cotton usage. The report also noted a shift towards more diverse portfolio mixes of fibers and a ramping up of efforts to mobilize and gear up for circularity. The report’s impact data also shows that adoption of preferred fibers and materials can advance many of the SDGs, in particular SDG12, which focuses on responsible consumption and production. This is consistent with the report’s findings that nearly 30 percent of reporting companies said they were aligning corporate strategies to the SDGs. Textile Exchange also shared that the language, content and best practices of its Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) will be used by two key Argentinian organizations as a basis for the outreach to and training of regional farmers. This represents the first time TE and its RWS are being recognized at a national to facilitate the adoption of improved sustainability practices. The collaboration, which involves ProLana — a state-run national program that aims to help Argentine wool growers to improve quality, presentation and sale conditions — and the Federación Lanera Argentina — the national guild representing the interests of scourers, top makers and exporters — will see Argentina adapt its language and protocols to reflect the wording and intent of the RWS, train potential farmers and put a specific emphasis on shearing practices by 2018. The government and guild will focus on alignment with RWS criteria and will provide support to facilitate certification to the RWS. The public sector wasn’t the only area in which Textile Exchange’s efforts were focused. During the Textile Sustainability Conference, more than 45 major textile, apparel and retail companies, including adidas, Dibella, EILEEN FISHER, Gap. According to the 2017 Preferred Fiber Market Report, participant rPET usage is current 47,407 mt. A 25 percent increase by 2020 has the potential to divert 2,868,000,000 bottles from landfill, reduce human toxicity by 35,329,509 kg, save 1,849,464 MJ on primary energy demand and reduce CO2 by 122,823 kg. Textile Exchange and the rPET Working Group believe that supporting, on a pre-competitive basis, investment in further developing rPET production around the globe, will lead to more efficient supply chains and increase the availability of more sustainable fiber choices in the market. Organized by TE’s Recycled Polyester Working Group, the commitment will be tracked via participation in the Polyester Module of Textile Exchange’s Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark Survey. In addition to driving rPET availability and production efficiencies, the Working Group will work to identify and support more sustainable practices under SDG 12. Another major announcement from the conference: Even more top brands have signed on to the sustainable cotton cause. Twenty-three of the world’s biggest clothing and companies, including Burberry, adidas, Kathmandu and Timberland pledged to use 100 percent sustainable cotton by 2025 during the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference. Thirty-six major brands and retailers, which also include ASOS, Eileen Fisher, H&M, IKEA, Kering, Levi’s, M&S and Nike have now signed up to the 100% by 2025 pledge. Dubbed the Sustainable Cotton Communiqué, the pledge demonstrates that there is a demand for more sustainable cotton and the commitment made by companies will help to drive sustainable practices across the sector. In turn, this will help alleviate the environmental and social costs that are often associated with conventional cotton production, including heavy pesticide usage, the release of greenhouse gases, the depletion of local water resources and rising costs of production. “The industry is awakening to the necessity of sustainably grown cotton. It is great to see additional brands joining this initiative to accelerate the momentum of cotton production in a way that will positively impact smallholder farmers, water quality and soil health,” said La Rhea Pepper, Managing Director of Textile Exchange. There have been substantial gains over the past few years in scaling the production of more sustainable forms of cotton, which is now higher than ever at over three million tons in 2016. However, companies are actively sourcing less than a fifth of this available sustainable cotton. In order for sustainable cotton to become standard business practice, the amount of sustainable cotton grown and bought must increase significantly. This pledge sends a signal to producers that there is a real demand for a more sustainable approach to cotton production. “At Timberland, we strive to be Earthkeepers in everything we do and we recognize sustainable cotton sourcing as a major part of that goal,” said Zachary Angelini, Environmental Stewardship Manager at Timberland. "Studies have shown the social benefits to farming communities as well as the potential for these practices to sequester carbon into the soil. This is exciting work as we move beyond just minimizing environmental impacts to strategically creating real environment and social benefits within the supply chain." Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]

Source: Sustainable Brands

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Visitors up 7.5% at Première Vision Paris

In a competitive global setting, Première Vision Paris, global event for fashion professionals, has recorded a fine performance continuing the trend noted in last February. The show welcomed 60,565 visitors, representing 129 countries. It witnessed a rise in visitors by 7.5 per cent and international attendance by 8.5 per cent as compared to September 2016. Top visitor countries attending the trade fair remain unchanged: France (+5 per cent), Italy (+3 per cent), United Kingdom (+4.7 per cent), Spain (+4.8 per cent). These are followed by China, in 5th position, then Turkey, which jumps ahead two places, passing Germany, whose visitor numbers remain nonetheless stable after two somewhat morechallenging sessions, and the US, which posted a 4.8 per cent increase in terms of attendance. Japan moves up a place and is now the 9th visitor country, with a 7 per cent increase in visitors, moving ahead of Belgium, Première Vision said in a press release. However, in terms of origin, the top 10 visitor countries recorded some changes in the present edition as compared to the September 2016 edition. The increase in number of visitors and exhibitors attests the attractiveness, strength and the effectiveness of its transversal and creative positioning. The results confirm a strategic vector of differentiation and growth for the industry, as evidenced by the results of the Première Vision Barometer, prepared by the IFM Première Vision Chair, which were unveiled at the show's press conference. This unique visitor ship is unmatched by any other upstream trade fair and characterised by its high quality, and diversity. “We had a strong edition, surpassing 60,000 visitors. The launch of the Bag & Shoe Manufacturing platform at Première Vision Leather had a good first edition. Overall, feedback from our exhibitors emphasised quality. Our targeted conferences, cross-sectoral events and specialised spaces have helped make the boundaries between sectors more porous. Industry players meet and exchange ideas, and that gives birth to new collaborations. Our community intersects, and connects. And that's where we play our role,” said Gilles Lasbordes, general manager of Première Vision.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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