• CCI AD FROM 5th April 2021

MARKET WATCH 03 OCT, 2020

 NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Textile Secretary  exhorts textile stake holders to focus on value added MMF segment

 Mr. Ravi Capoor, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, has advised the stakeholders to focus on value added MMF segment, technical textiles, scale of operation and indigenous textile machinery manufacturing facilities to make Indian textiles and clothing industry globally competitive and grab the postCovid-19 opportunities. Delivering the key note address at the 62nd annual general meeting of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), Mr. Capoor informed that as per the study conducted by the Government, the share of MMF based textiles and clothing products would account 80% by 2030 while the share of cotton segment will get reduced to 20%. He prevailed upon the Indian textiles and clothing manufacturers to gear up and meet the growing global demands rather than focusing on conventional commodity products that yield very low value-added price realization. Since huge market space would be available in the international market due to geo-political issues and also scaling down of textiles and manufacturing activities in China, India being the second largest country in the world, would be in a position to meet the global requirement, Textiles Secretary pointed out.. Mr. Capoor felt that the least developed countries (LDCs) being small and do not have raw material base and several other constraints, India can really emerge as a global player. The Secretary Textiles advised the spinning companies to enter into long term contract farming for Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton, support the farmers to grow better ELS than PIMA or GIZA so that the dependency on imports could be avoided. He also instructed the industry to focus on specialty cotton like organic cotton and coloured cotton. Mr. Capoor noted that even most of the LDC countries could increase their global trade share, not only because of tariff advantage, but also due to large scale of operation. He counselled the industry to utilize MSME segments to cater to the low value-added markets in the domestic sector and make huge investments in the forward and backward integration and also in the Greenfield projects so that the industry could become competitive in terms of price, volume, quality and delivery schedule. Mr. Capoor also directed the industry to utilize two major schemes being contemplated by the Ministry like Mega Textile Park and National Textile Fund in this venture. He stated that the Government has been bold enough to bring historical reforms in the tax structure by implementing GST, reducing basic customs duty, removing anti-dumping duty on all basic raw materials, including PTA, rejecting the proposed antidumping duty on several products and also by bringing four Labour Codes in place of 44 Labour Legislations. Textiles Secretary strongly felt that New Labour Codes would greatly benefit the industry especially the new investments and also the employees thus creating a winwin strategy for both, employer and employee. Mr. Capoor pointed out that the Government was contemplating to extend a special export package for top 40 MMF HS lines and also 10 technical textiles HS lines where the global market is over US $ 250 billion. India’s share was a miniscule of less than 0.7%, in these HS lines, he informed. While appreciating CITI for closely interacting with the Government on various policy matters, Mr. Capoor applauded CITI Chairman for the formation of National Committee on Textiles & Clothing (NCTC) by CITI and creating a common platform to enable the Government to get the industry’s demand in a single voice. He advised the stakeholders to stand united and avoid coming out with conflicting and contradicting demands to the government. Mr. Capoor felt that such proposals might benefit one segment in the short run, but would harm entire textile value chain in the long run. This was one of the reasons why the industry could not achieve a sustained and envisaged growth rate, he stressed. Earlier, Mr. T. Rajkumar, Chairman, CITI in his welcome address lauded the Indian government for taking various bold and proactive initiatives to enable the industry to recover from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on a fast track. He also appreciated the historical reforms brought in taxation, foreign trade policy, power, labour, MSME eligibility criteria, etc., that had greatly benefited the textiles and clothing industry. CITI Chairman appealed to the Government to announce a special package to boost cotton consumption as the country is heading towards huge accumulation of stock that might affect the farmers, industry and the government for exercising MSP operation and holding the stock. Mr. Rajkumar noted that the financial relief packages announced for MSME and non-MSMEs would greatly benefit the textile mills having their accounts as standard on 1st March 2020. However, T&C industry needs further handholding to recover from the unforeseen financial stress, he said and added that based on the representations made by the textile industry, Union Minister of Textiles was kind enough to recommend two years’ moratorium period for all loans in the pre-Covid-19 period. Considering the acute crisis being faced by the industry, CITI Chairman appealed to the Government to either extend the relief package for all the units irrespective of their status of accounts or extend two years’ moratorium period for the repayment of all loans. Since it might take several months to reach normalcy in business and financial performance, it is essential to consider this appeal to prevent closure of several thousands of textile units and jobs for several lakhs of people. At the first meeting of the newly elected Committee immediately after the 62nd AGM of CITI, Mr. T. Rajkumar, Chairman of Sri Mahasakthi Mills Limited, Palakkad, Kerala was re-elected as Chairman, Mr. S. K. Kandelia, President & CEO of Sutlej Textiles and Industries Ltd. was elected as Deputy Chairman and Mr. R. L. Nolkha, Chairman of Nitin Spinners Limited, Bhilwara was elected as the ViceChairman of CITI.

Source: Tecoya Trend

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Major relief for companies: MCA extends deadline for various schemes till December-end; check schemes

Nirmala Sitharaman’s Office said that the Companies Fresh Start Scheme 2020, which was introduced by the MCA and was valid from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020, has now been extended. In an effort to provide greater ease of doing business, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has extended the duration of several schemes till the end of the year 2020 in the wake of continued disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic in certain parts of the country. Nirmala Sitharaman’s Office said that the Companies Fresh Start Scheme 2020, which was introduced by the MCA and was valid from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020, has now been extended. The scheme aimed to enable companies to clear their previous defaults. In addition, the scheme for relaxation of time for filing forms related to creation or modification of charges under the Companies Act, 2013, and the time for conducting EGMs through video conference or other audio-visual means has also been extended till December-end. The LLP Settlement Scheme 2020, has also been extended till the end of 2020, which was aimed at enabling the LLPs to settle their previous defaults. It is to be noted that the LLP Settlement Scheme 2020 is a one-time relaxation provided to LLPs which have defaulted in filing the statutory documents within the required due dates. The LLPs which opt for this scheme are not required to pay additional fees. A large number of LLPs have defaulted leading to the electronic registry not being updated. Meanwhile, all companies are required to follow statutory compliances such as annual returns, financial statements, and all the other necessary forms, documents, and statements annually. Non–compliance of the same results in the imposition of penalties and fines and if the company fails to adhere to the compliances, it is labeled as a defaulting company. However, considering the underlying conditions that arose due to the pandemic, the MCA had introduced the Companies Fresh Start Scheme (CFSS) to provide some cushion to the companies’ operations. However, if the final notice of striking off the name as per the Companies Act, 2013 has already been initiated by the designated authority, CFSS 2020 will not be applicable.

Source: Financial Express

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Exports snap six-month losing streak, rise 5.27 pc in September: Piyush Goyal

NEW DELHI: After contracting for six months in a row, the country's reports grew by 5.27 per cent to USD 27.4 billion in September, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. He said this is an indicator of the "rapid recovery" of the Indian economy as it surpasses pre-COVID-19 levels across parameters. "Make in India, Make for the World: Indian merchandise eports grew 5.27 per cent in September 20 as compared to last year," he said in a tweet. In September 2019, the exports stood at USD 26.02 billion. Since March, the country's outbound shipments were recording negative growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant fall in global demand. Key sectors such as petroleum, leather, engineering goods and gems and jewellery were registering negative growth rates. Commenting on the numbers, Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) Chairman Mohit Singla said exports are on the path of recovery as the international market is opening up and buyers have started placing orders. "Food and agri sector will continue to thrust exports as they have done in even the worst of times in the past," Singla added. Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said "this was expected due to anti-China sentiments as a lot of orders have come." He added that exporters can do much better if issues pertaining to Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), risky exporters and RoDTEP (Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products) are resolved.

Source: Economic Times

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View: India heads down right path of economic reforms at wrong speed

In recent weeks, India’s government has shown unusual amounts of energy in pushing through long-awaited economic reforms. The last session of Parliament— cut short when several MPs tested positive for Covid-19 — was exceptionally productive. Two labor-law amendments were passed, as was a package ofmeasures addressing the agricultural sector. However you look at it, these moves take India in the right direction. They don’t go far enough, are badly planned and have been poorly communicated — nevertheless, they are grounds for optimism. Cautious optimism, however, because the take-no-prisoners political style of India’s ruling party threatens to undermine the impact of its own reforms. The government completely undercut Parliament in its eort to ram through the legislative changes. Little or no effort was made to get other political parties on board. And India’s states can just ably complain that issues on which they have traditionally set policy (and gained revenue) are being appropriated by the federal government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unwisely ignoring the central difficulty of reform in India: While you can’t wait for everyone to agree before you make changes, you can’t impose them with zero agreement, either. It’s hard to overstate how different Modi’s approach is from the one that India has traditionally taken to economic reform. One of the strengths of the Indian system is that the state has prized consensus-building. That’s why there has never really been a sustained political or popular backlash to past reforms. It would not have been hard to take a similar approach in this case, too. Modi himself has demonstrated how it can be done in the past: A couple years ago, the eort to overhaul India’s indirect regime represented a joint, all-party, stateand-Union eort. That moment seems to belong in the past now. In recent years, even the nationwide goods-and-services tax — one of Indian federalism’s proudest achievements — has become a cause of conflict. Partly, the pandemic is responsible: The finance ministry in New Delhi told its counterparts in the states that it simply would not be able to live up to the promises it had made as part of the grand bargain of tax reform, blaming an “act of God.” Not an act of God, but an act of fraud, insisted the nance minister of West Bengal. The new reforms must contend with this charged atmosphere. In agriculture, the government decided to “bypass” the states’ rights and powers over agricultural marketing and open up trade outside previously existing, state-controlled wholesale yards. States will lose the revenue they’d received from taxing transactions at these “mandis,” as they were called. Already, opposition-ruled states are refusing to implement the new laws. This will severely undercut Modi’s stated ambition of a single national market for agricultural produce. The simple fact is that, in India’s complex federal system, it’s up to the central government to ensure political buy-in at every level for big reforms. Yes, that takes time, costs political capital and requires compromise. But without the effort, the reforms just won’t work. Modi himself — who as a state chief minister in Gujarat excelled in extracting concessions from New Delhi — surely knows this better than anyone else. The costs of railroading through changes without concern for what state governments think will be paid not now, not next year, but over the decades to come as India turns fractious. One former federal finance minister issued a stark warning: “One Nation, One everything will eventually destroy One Nation.” There’s a similar problem with the new labour reforms. As with agricultural reorganization, new codes governing the hiring and ring of workers have been long overdue. In the interim, the government has allowed states to develop a patchwork of different regulations that employers nd excessively confusing The federal government, which has the constitutional right to legislate alongside states on labor issues, needed to get all the states — and, by extension, various opposition parties — on board with employment reform in order to enact a single, simple set of labor regulations across the country. Instead, the government chose not to send its latest amendments to the parliamentary committees where the hard work of hammering out compromise is done. Modi’s party has won two general elections easily. There’s every reason to suppose it would win again if voting were to take place tomorrow. But the Indian system is not set up to be winner-takes-all. It requires cooperation between the central government and states, between multiple centers of power. Modi has the political capital to further that cooperation and make those compromises. The reforms he wants to push have the enormous momentum of ideas that have long been argued for. So there’s very little excuse for ramming them through without a proper eort to build consensus — especially when the effort risks turning them into mere words on paper.

Source: Economic Times

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Finance Ministry to kick-start budgetary exercise from October 16

New Delh: The nance ministry will kick-start the exercise to prepare the annual Budget for 2021-22 from October 16, a notification said on Thursday. It will be the third budget of the Modi 2.0 government and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The budget will have to address critical issues pertaining to growth contraction and subdued revenue collection triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. "The pre-Budget/RE (Revised Estimate) meetings will begin on the October 16, 2020," according to the Budget Circular (2021-22) of the Budget Division of the Department of Economic Affairs. "All financial advisers should ensure that the necessary details related to these meetings contained in the Appendices I to VII are entered in RE module of the UBIS (Union Budget Information System)," the circular added. The Budget Estimates (BE) for 2021-22 will be provisionally finalised after the expenditure secretary completes discussions with other secretaries and financial advisers. Pre-Budget meetings will begin from October 16 and continue till the rst week of November, it said. Ceilings for all categories of expenditure, including the central sector and centrally sponsored schemes will be discussed, it said. Accordingly, the RE 2020-21 and BE 2021-22 for all categories of expenditure, and select schemes/projects, may be indicated separately for revenue and capital expenditure, it said.  For the Budget Estimates of 2021-22, it said "the allocations will be nalized for the Establishment and Other Central government expenditures as well as the Finance Commission related transfers which will be based on the accepted recommendations of the 15th FC (Finance Commission)."  For the Central Sector (CS) schemes and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), tentative ceilings would be discussed during the pre-Budget meetings, it added. The Budget 2021-22 is likely to be presented on February 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government scrapped a colonial-era tradition of presenting the Budget at the end of February. The then finance minister Arun Jaitley had for the rst time presented the annual accounts on February 1, 2017.  With the preponement of the Budget, ministries are now allocated their budgeted funds from the start of the financial year beginning April. This gives government departments more leeway to spend as well as allow companies time to adapt to business and taxation plans. Previously, when the Budget was presented at the end of February, the three-stage Parliament approval process used to get completed sometime in mid-May, weeks ahead of onset of monsoon rains. This meant government departments would start spending on projects only from August-end or September, after the monsoon season ended.

Source: Economic Times

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CBIC asks field units to monitor performance of standing counsels on a monthly basis

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has instructed field units to conduct performance monitoring of standing counsels on a monthly basis, so as to to ensure that appeals and petitions filed before High Courts in the country are defended and pursued efficaciously."Any adverse order by the High Court may have All India ramifications, and considering the limited scope of SLP under Article 136 of the Constitution of India, it becomes imperative that all possible steps are taken by the field formations to defend the interests of revenue before respective High Courts effectively," the Board said while issuing the instructions on September 30. The Board said that jurisdictional principal chief commissioners or principal director generals or chief commissioners shall monitor the performance of the standing counsels on monthly basis and submit a consolidated report. The Board has also instructed that field units submit a monthly report on new cases filed in a High Court during the month. Further, allocation or re-allocation of cases to the counsels should be done based on performance, and that counsels must be timely briefed by well conversant sufficiently senior officer, and be provided contact details of senior officials for urgent assistance. "Counsels may also be sensitized to intimate the Department about the status of the pending matters on timely basis," the Board said adding that appeals or petitions filed before any High Court must be handled effectively and diligently, leaving no room for laxity.

Source: Economic Times

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India urges Bangladesh to import ethnic garments at zero duty

Smriti Irani assures Dhaka that efforts will be made to ensure supply of quality cotton through CCI Textile Minister Smriti Irani has asked Bangladesh to increase its textile sourcing from India, which lags way behind China, by lowering tariff barriers and other irritants to trade…………

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Govt sets up panel to screen all Chinese foreign investment proposals

More than 100 proposals involving foreign direct investment (FDI) from China are pending. This was widely seen to be directed at curbing Chinese takeovers of companies amid stock market volatility in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic India has set up a screening panel to vet all Chinese foreign investment proposals and those considered “non-controversial” could be approved, a senior government oicial told ET. More than 100 proposals involving foreign direct investment (FDI) from China are pending. Prior government clearance was made mandatory for FDI from countries sharing a land border in April. This was widely seen to be directed at curbing Chinese takeovers of companies amid stock market volatility in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This scrutiny intensied following tension on the border. The screening panel is headed by the home secretary and has the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) secretary as a member. “An interministerial committee has been set up to look at the proposals that various ministries had received that were forwarded to the home ministry for security clearance,” said the oicial cited above. The proposals that are “noncontroversial” could be approved after the committee examines proposals from the point of view of ownership and its implications for security, the person said.

Prior Nod for Critical Sector Investments

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told ET in an interview on Tuesday that there was no ban on Chinese investments. “If there is this feeling that is coming that we have stopped investors from a particular country, no we have not done any of that,” she had said, adding that investments are being regulated but not stopped. FDI from China was $2.4 billion or 0.51% of the total between April 2000 and June 2020. DPIIT notied the new FDI policy on April 18. “An entity of a country, which shares land border with India or where the beneficial owner of an investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under the government route,” it stipulated. This was aimed at “curbing opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.” Prior government approval or clearance by the ministry of home affairs is required for investments in critical sectors including defence, satellites, mining, civil aviation, media, private security agencies and telecommunication. The government will have to determine the security criteria and also look at it from the perspective of data theft, experts said. “Security grounds could also refer to the activities of the company and how it treats data. The government will have to ensure that the data does not go into wrong hands,” said one of them. A Delhi-based expert on investment issues said, “Security is a broad term and it might be diicult to determine it. Will the government go up the entire chain to check for benecial ownership or look for links with the Chinese government or the military?”

Source: Economic Times

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Textile technology is advancing into new frontiers

 When you hear textile engineering, you may think apparel. But today, it has more to do with technical fibre, which has huge applications across multiple fields, says Ashwini Agrawal, professor of textile technology at IIT Delhi. He says such textiles are increasingly being used in civil, mechanical and even automobile engineering. The subject has been multidisciplinary, and has become more so in application. “You need to know a lot of things before you make a product, a lot of knowledge in chemistry and polymers,” says Agrawal. The government, he says, is putting its weight behind the technical textile sector and has earmarked about Rs 1,400 crore as part of the technical textile mission. Textile technology is key to applications such as personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and face masks that are today being widely used for protection from Covid-19. It is key to body suits to protect people from harsh conditions such as fire or extreme cold. The government’s science & technology department has approved support for upscaling an antiviral nano-coating developed by Agrawal. It can be used to produce triple layer  medical masks and N95 respirators. And yet, Agrawal says, textile engineering is often the last choice of students entering the IITs. “It is never their preferred subject because at the end of graduation, the jobs they land up with are at apparel companies, which do not pay the kind of salaries others do. And after a few years, they will pursue an MBA to move to another career,” he says. However, students from other institutes who join the Master’s programme in the IITs end up getting absorbed in companies like Reliance and Arvind as product managers, which are really well paying. Agrawal suggests that students who wish to stay in this field should pursue higher studies. The IITs are now more focused on higher studies, research and innovation and not just on churning out students at the undergraduate levels who would bag plum salaries. In many IITs, the ratio of undergraduate to post graduate and research fellows is now almost equal, compared to a 80:20 ratio a decade ago. “A major emphasis is now on the entrepreneur cell. The objective is that students would use their engineering skills to create something and then float a company. IIT Delhi has created about 100 such companies in the last 5-7 years,” Agrawal says. One of the ways the interdisciplinary approach and entrepreneurship interest have been achieved over the years has been by assigning 50% of the focus on the student’s core subject, and the rest on a minor area such as entrepreneurship and mathematics, so that students have a holistic view of the ecosystem around them.

Source: Times of India

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India and Australia further Strengthens their Partnership on Skilling Agenda

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE) and High Commission of Australia holds meeting for Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training.In an endeavor to support Vocational Education and Training (VET) in India and Australia, the Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. MahendraNath Pandey and Mr. Barry O’Farrell, Australian High Commissioner, today participatedin a virtual meeting to operationalize & implementCooperation in VET to promote development of occupational standards in priority industry sectors. This was in line with the joint participation of the Prime Minister of India and the Prime Minister of Australia in the India-Australia Leaders' Virtual Summit held on 4thJune, 2020. Earlier, on this occasion, a Joint Statement for Comprehensive Strategic Partnership document between both the countries was announced including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Department of Education, Skills. During the meeting, Minister emphasized on making firm progress in the forthcoming Joint working group meeting between India & Australia. Talking about post-COVID era, Dr Pandey highlighted the skill priorities of India like, mapping of job roles in the health sector and better migration and mobility. These are high priority areas for India as per the New Education policy in enhancing Vocational education in School education and the collaboration with Australia shall be crucial in this aspect. Mr. Barry O’Farrell, Australian High Commissioner, said, “The joint working group meeting will further assist us in formulating focussed interventions to deliver on the skills agenda across both the nations. Through this partnership, we will ensure a collaborative and clear plan of action to address the priority areas in skill development.” Further in the joint meeting, which was also attended by Shri Praveen Kumar, Secretary, MSDE and Smt. JuthikaPatankar, Additional Secretary, MSDE, the importance of joint planning and implementation of collaborative programmeswas emphasized with a focus on salient points such as industry sectors; enhancing capacity and quality of trainers and assessors; internships and apprenticeship exchanges and; facilitation of linkages between VET providers and industry in both the countries. The MoU will establish new pathways between the two countries to share information and best practice between the respective VET systems. The agreement will help identify new ways of working together and areas of possible collaboration that include mutual priority areas of industry engagement, quality assurance models, and teaching standards. So far, MSDE has signed MOUs with eight countries including Japan, UAE, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Finland and Morocco for cooperation in the field of vocational education and training. The partnership will help foster closer ties between thegovernments and training providers, and ultimately, open up new areas of opportunity for millions of VET learners in both countries.

Source : PIB

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Monthly Review of Accounts of Union Government of India upto the month of August, 2020 for the Financial Year 2020-21

The Monthly Account of the Union Government of India upto the month of August, 2020 has been consolidated and reports published. The highlights are given below:- The Government of India has received ₹3,77,306 crore (16.80% of corresponding BE 2020-21 of Total Receipts) upto August, 2020 comprising ₹ 2,84,495 crore Tax Revenue (Net to Centre), ₹86,147 crore of Non Tax Revenue and ₹6,664 crore of Non Debt Capital Receipts. Non Debt Capital Receipts consists of Recovery of Loans (₹6,635 crore) and Disinvestment proceeds (₹29 crore) ₹2,17,976 crore has been transferred to State Governments as Devolution of Share of Taxes by Government of India upto this period which is ₹37,629 crore lower than the previous year. Total Expenditure incurred by Government of India is ₹12,47,653 crore (41.01% of corresponding BE 2020-21), out of which ₹11,13,206 crore is on Revenue Account and ₹1,34,447crore is on Capital Account. Out of the Total Revenue Expenditure, ₹2,37,662 crore is on account of Interest Payments and ₹1,30,700 crore is on account of Major Subsidies.

Source: PIB

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Deadline for Filing Income Tax Returns-ITRs Extended to 30 November

In a major relief for taxpayers, the Centre on Wednesday announced extension of the due date for filing income tax returns for assessment year 2019-20 by a couple of months to November 30, 2020. The decision has come in the wake of many taxpayers facing difficulty in filing their income tax returns due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. The last date for filing returns for AY 2019-20 was extended earlier till September 30, the third such extension during the pandemic. It has been further extended till November to provide more time to taxpayers. "On further consideration of genuine difficulties being faced by taxpayers due to the Covid-19 situation, CBDT further extends the due date for furnishing of belated & revised ITRs for Assessment Year 2019-20 from 30th September, 2020 to 30th November, 2020," the Income Tax Department said in a tweet. The government has already extended the date for filing income tax returns for AY 2020- 21 to November 30.

Source: Money Life

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FDI firms generate 70% of Vietnam textile export turnover

Up to 70 per cent of Vietnam’s textile export revenue belongs to foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), which recently said the export turnover of the sector was $39 billion last year and is expected to reach around $32 billion this year despite being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the long run, when the domestic garment and textile enterprises can produce raw materials, they can raise their export market share, especially in the European market, where they only account for 2 per cent of the market share, according to Vietnamese media report. Currently, the country’s textile and garment industry ranks sixth in textile exports in the world and ranks second after China among the largest textile exporters to the European market. Many domestic garment and textile enterprises said that authorities need to attract foreign investment selectively in the garment and textile sector. Accordingly, it is necessary to prioritize investment attraction in the production of raw materials to create conditions for domestic enterprises to complete the garment and textile supply chain and make the most of the advantages of export tariffs. At the same time, it will help domestic garment and textile enterprises to reduce the risk of antagonistic competition with FDI enterprises investing in Vietnam in the export market.

Source: Fibre2fashion

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New polyester fabric innovations revolutionizing the apparel sector

Polyester is particularly popular for the production of apparel and clothing. The material, either by itself or in blends, can be found in nearly every type of apparel, from regular loungewear or daily wear to specialized sports apparel. Common polyester fibers blends include polyester-cotton blends for shirts and polyester-wool blends for suits, among others. Polyester manufacturing technology has undergone significant transitions over the years, with novel solutions making differentiation between synthetic and natural fibers considerably challenging. One of the primary stages of this transition was the emergence of microfibers, facilitated by technology advancements that enabled the extrusion of the material in fine multifilament yarns. This, in turn, enhanced the aesthetics as well as the performance of both the fiber and the fabric. This transformation further aided in the integration of high-tech polyester fibers in the production of high-performance active sportswear. Also, polyester microfibers came to be considered ideal for creating fabric with characteristics similar to silk. Another notable transformation in the polyester fibers manufacturing domain was the evolution of the recycling process. Recycled polyester, or rPET fibers, developed using PET or clear plastic water bottles as the raw material, have given apparel manufacturers an innovative and more sustainable source of material, that would otherwise go into landfills. For instance, recycled polyester is used extensively in the production of textiles like fleece, preferred by outdoor clothing brands concerned with their ecological footprint. According to studies, the apparel industry is aiming towards doubling the use of these polyester fibers by 2030, particularly fabrics derived from the emerging fiber-to-fiber technology, that leverages green chemistry to facilitate the breakdown of used polyester and reform it without sustaining any loss in quality. This concept of “infinite recyclability’ offered by the use of rPET fibers has attracted the attention of many notable apparel brands looking to bolster their growth strategy in a more sustainable way. Marks & Spencer, Patagonia, alongside myriad other fashion businesses have gained prominence in recent years for their use of recycled polyester in their products. likewise, Japanese company Teijin made considerable progress in this regard, by setting up its own polyester recycling system to recreate the fabrics for use in clothing. The emergence of plant-based polyester fibers as a key sustainability step in the textiles domain  The textile industry has faced considerable scrutiny over the years, owing to its large carbon footprint. The use of synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, has faced significant backlash due to their adverse impact on environmental health. Studies suggest that polyesters, especially, account for almost 80% of chemically produced fibers across the globe. As ethical concerns continue to push apparel and fashion companies away from petroleum-based fiber solutions, major industry players are taking targeted steps to adopt more sustainable textile materials in their offerings. For instance, H&M has made a commitment to switch to sustainable materials completely by 2030. Similarly, Fast Retailing, operator of casualwear Uniqlo, has initiated the use of biofibers in its products. Furthermore, in 2020, the company also revealed its participation in the UN’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, designed to bring about a 30% decrease in GHG emissions from the apparel sector by 2030. Polyester fiber production has historically involved the use of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid, both of which are derived from petroleum. In an effort to avert the potentially hazardous effects of these materials, various technologies are cropping up, to examine more eco-friendly methods of deriving the raw materials. For instance, extraction of ethylene glycol from sugarcane has been gaining considerable traction in recent years, paving the way for the production of more sustainable, plant-based polyester fibers. Companies across the globe, such as Japanese materials company Toray Industries have already taken cognizance of this technology, leveraging it to initiate a breakthrough designed to mitigate carbon emissions and reliance on petroleum sources. The company, in collaboration with U.S-based biofuels company Virent, has used the process to develop what is hailed as the first 100% plant-based polyester fiber in the world. The production of this novel material is facilitated by the creation of a biologically derived terephthalic acid version, constituting nearly 70% polyester content, using inedible parts of corn and sugarcane. The eco-friendly, plant-based polyester fiber demonstrates durability and processing ease similar to that of conventional polyesters and is geared towards use in automotive interiors, sportswear, and many other applications. As similar efforts by numerous polyester fiber industry vendors gain momentum, the textiles market is likely to undergo a major transformation in the years ahead.

Source: Fashion United

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Microplastics & The Textile Industry   

The textile industry can work together to formulate solutions to tackle to complex issue of microplastics in the environment. Microplastics are a growing concern for the textile industry, compounding the complexities of the broader sustainability discussion. Yet, there is much to be discovered about this multifaceted issue, and how to best respond to it. At present, there is no broad-based agreement on a single definition for microplastic. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines micro plastics as “plastic pieces less than 5 millimeters [mm} long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life.” 2 The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are more specific in its proposed definition:

“‘microplastic’ means particles containing solid polymer, to which additives or other

substances may have been added, and where ≥ 1 [percent] w/w of particles have:

(i) all dimensions 0.1 µm [micrometers] ≤x ≤ 5 mm, or

(ii) for fibers, a length of 0.3µm ≤ x ≤ 15 mm and length to diameter ratio of >3.” 3

The study of marine microplastics is not new. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been conducting research and publishing on this subject since the 1970s.4 Other organizations have been active as well. For instance, the Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) consortium has published an extensive review pointing out the need for standardization and harmonization of testing methodologies. SAPEA states that there is “no evidence of widespread risk to human health from [nano/micro plastics] at present.” 5 While the quantification of the ocean plastics issue remains a challenge, researchers estimate that 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic waste are expected to enter the ocean every year, with current accumulation estimated at 50-150 million tons.6 As of 2014, researchers have estimated that a minimum of 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing roughly 269,000 tons, persist at the surface level of our world’s oceans.7 In surface water, sampling studies have indicated that microplastics may exist in a wide range of concentrations; roughly 1×10-3 to 10 particles per liter for particles greater than 0.3 mm.8 As regulatory bodies are actively engaged in drafting rules and regulations that could affect the industry as well as consumers, it is important to understand the issues in order to respond appropriately.

 The Problem for Textiles

 Current aquatic sampling for microplastics finds that fibers are the second most identified “shape” of microplastics.9 However, the focus on surface-skimming sampling methods may not accurately quantify the amount of fiber that is present. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), nylon, and acrylic fibers have densities greater than seawater, and are thus thought to accumulate at the seabed — an emerging subset of microplastic research.10 While researchers generally believe most microplastics originate from the fragmentation of larger pieces of plastic over time, it is unclear if this is the case for textilederived microplastics.11 Many studies on microplastic release from textiles have focused on home laundering as a source of fibers entering the waterways. These studies have found shedding to be dependent on the properties of the textile article including fiber material, yarn size, fabric construction, fabric weight and fabric finishing.12 For example, polyester fleece has been identified in multiple studies to release higher fiber counts — >7000 fibers/m-2/L-1 — than other types of polyester fabrics.13 Variability in laundering equipment and settings as well as detergents also can influence the amount of fibers released from a garment or article, where both washers and dryers can result in shedding of textile fibers. Other studies have identified a 3.5-fold increase in fiber release during tumble drying as compared to the wash process for polyester fleece articles.14 Other potential sources of textile-derived microplastics in the environment may include fragmentation of fishing ropes and netting, or from breakdown of improperly discarded nonwoven hygiene products.15 In addition, the role of household-level filtration and wastewater treatment in preventing the release of microplastics to the environment requires further investigation.

Standards And Certifications

Currently, there are few standards to guide the industry on best practices for measuring the emission rates of microplastics from textiles. Industry recognized standards and environmental labels like ISO 14000 environmental management standards, ASTM environmental standards, Global Organic Textile standard, EU Ecolabel, OEKO-TEX® labeling standards do not yet include an evaluation of fiber shedding. However, other industry testing organizations and independent researchers have been working to develop reproducible methods to help educate and support the industry. For example, the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), Research Triangle Park, N.C., is developing a gravimetric method of calculating fiber/mass loss using an accelerated laundering machine.16 The Hohenstein Institute, Germany, has developed a suite of test methods designed to provide a quantitative analysis of microfibers. These test methods include a gravimetric method adopted from the University of Leeds/The Microfibre Consortium Method, an assessment of fiber count, shape, and size distribution using Hohenstein’s method for Dynamic Image Analysis, and an assessment of cellulosic versus non-cellulosic content.17 Further, there are some standardized test methods that that may have the ability to be modified to directly evaluate microplastics. For example, test methods for evaluating dry lint count and laundering.18

Regulations

Currently, microplastics legislation has primarily targeted the sale or production of personal care products which contain microplastics. However, more comprehensive legislation is on the horizon. In August 2019, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), drafted an amendment to Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) that would ban the sale of “microplastics on their own or in mixtures where their use will inevitably result in releases of microplastics to the environment, irrespective of the conditions of use” in the European Union zone. The proposed amendment defines microplastic (see ECHA definition above) containing materials as: “… a substance on its own or in a mixture as a microplastic in a concentration equal to or greater than 0.01 [percent] w/w.” Polymers that occur in nature and that have not been chemically modified — other than by hydrolysis — are excluded, as are polymers that are biodegradable. In addition, this proposed legislation would only apply to intentionally added microplastics, which are present at the point of use and could foreseeably be released to the environment. Products which generate or shed microplastics at the point of use or disposal, but did not originally contain added microplastics as defined above, would not be subject to this proposed regulation. Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) will issue a final opinion on the legislation by September.19 A draft of the legislation by the European Commission is due in December 2020,20 and will likely be put to a final vote in 2021. Currently, unmodified natural and biodegradable polymers are not regulated as microplastics under the proposed regulation. Natural fibers are defined under REACH as per their origin, not by their chemical structure. For example, polymers which occur naturally but are polymerized in an industrial setting would be regulated.21 The biodegradability of a polymer will be assessed by ISO 17025 certified laboratories which conduct approved tests outlined in the proposed REACH legislation to ensure that a polymer meets the target specifications for a biodegradable material.22 In the United States, microplastic regulations are being debated at the state level. In June, the California State Water Board adopted a definition of microplastics following the requirement in California Senate Bill No. 1422. The definition of microplastics in drinking water are defined as: “Solid polymeric materials to which chemical additives or other substances may have been added, which are particles which have at least three dimensions that are greater than 1 [nanometer] and [have a volume] less than 5,000 micrometers (µm).3 Polymers that are derived in nature that have not been chemically modified (other than by hydrolysis) are excluded.” 23 Due to the dimensional constraints given, the threshold length for a man-made fiber will ultimately depend on its diameter. In addition, SB 1422 requires that a quantification methodology for the above definition of microplastics in drinking water be developed by July 1, 2021.24 Another California senate bill, SB 1263, mandates that a statewide microplastics strategy to protect ocean waters from microplastics to be developed on or before December 31, 2021.25 State-level legislation related to microplastics is expected to grow. And, as fibers are a commonly detected microplastic shape,26 it is likely that the textile industry will be impacted. What can the industry do? Become familiar with the issues and consumer concerns and work with trade associations, standards organizations, regulatory bodies and research organizations to formulate coherent and sensible solutions. Microplastics in the environment is a challenging and complex issue. However, working together, and employing sound science to understand and address the issue should help to provide a better environment and a stronger industry.

Source: Textile World

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US economy falls 31.4% in spring; may shrink for the first time since 2009

The government will not release its July-September GDP report until Oct. 29, just five days before the presidential election The US economy plunged at an unprecedented rate this spring and even with a record rebound expected in the just-ended third quarter, the US economy will likely shrink this year, the first time that has happened since the Great Recession. The gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services, fell at a rate of 31.4 per cent in the April-June quarter, only slightly changed from the 31.7 per cent drop estimated one month ago, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The government's last look at the second quarter showed a decline that was more than three times larger than the fall of 10per cent in the first quarter of 1958 when Dwight Eisenhower was president, which had been the largest decline in U.S. history. Economists believe the economy will expand at an annual rate of 30per cent in the current quarter as businesses have re-opened and millions of people have gone back to work. That would shatter the old record for a quarterly GDP increase, a 16.7per cent surge in the first quarter of 1950 when Harry Truman was president. The government will not release its July-September GDP report until Oct. 29, just five days before the presidential election. While President Donald Trump is counting on an economic rebound to convince voters to give him a second term, economists said any such bounce back this year is a longshot. Economists are forecasting that growth will slow significantly in the final three months of this year to a rate of around 4per cent and the U.S. could actually topple back into a recession if Congress fails to pass another stimulus measure or if there is a resurgence of Covid-19. There are upticks in infections occurring right now in some regions of the country, including New York. There are a lot of potential pitfalls out there, said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services. We are still dealing with a number of significant reductions because of the pandemic. In 2020, economists expect GDP to fall by around 4per cent , which would mark the first annual decline in GDP since a drop of 2.5per cent in 2009 during the recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis. With economic momentum cooling, fiscal stimulus expiring, flu season approaching and election uncertainty rising, the main question is how strong the labor market will be going into the fourth quarter, said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. With the prospect of additinal fiscal aid dwindling, consumers, businesses and local governments will have to fend for themselves in the coming months, Daco said. The Trump administration is forecasting solid growth in coming quarters that will restore all of the output lost to the pandemic. Yet most economists believe it could take some time for all the lost output to be restored and they don't rule out a return to shrinking GDP if no further government support is forthcoming. So far this year, the economy fell at a 5per cent rate in the first quarter, signaling an end to a nearly 11-year-long economic expansion, the longest in U.S. history. That drop was followed by the second quarter decline of 31.4per cent, which was initially estimated two months ago as a drop of 32.9per cent, and then revised to a decline of 31.7per cent last month. The slight upward revision in this report reflected less of a plunge in consumer spending than had been estimated. It was still a record fall at a rate of 33.2per cent, but last month projections were for a decline of 34.1per cent. This improvement was offset somewhat by downward revisions to exports and to business investment.

Source: Business Standard

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Novel Polyester Fiber Technologies to Play a Key Role in Ushering the Textiles Industry Towards Sustainability

Plant-based polyester fibers are quickly emerging as one of the hottest trends in the textiles space. From a historical standpoint, textiles have undergone various stages of evolution, from being a small-scale domestic industry to its current supremacy in the global economy. Textiles have transformed dramatically from their first stage, dubbed the ‘cottage stage’, which included the production of natural fibers such as flax, wool, and cotton on a domestic basis, to more innovative operations in the Industrial revolution. As technologies such as looms, wheels, and spinning processes emerged throughout history, textile production began to shift focus from conventional natural fabrics to synthetic or “man-made” fibers, most notable among them being polyester fibers. Polyester is among the most common synthetic fibers used worldwide. The early origins of the polyester fiber market can be traced back to 1941 when the first viable version of the material was developed by British chemists J.T. Dickson, and J. R. Whinfield, and named Terylene. However, the material was popularized in the 1950s, by DuPont, under their brand Dacron, which went on to become the most predominantly used fiber across the industrial sector, surpassing even cotton. Polyester fabric has many beneficial characteristics, including high strength, resistance to stretching, shrinkage, creasing, insects, as well as most chemicals. Specific properties, however, can vary based on the type of polyester fiber, including crush, oil, or flame resistance. Used primarily for home furnishings and clothing, polyester fibers have gained massive popularity over the years, being used either alone or blended with other fabrics such as cotton, wool, flax, or rayon.

Source: Global Market Insights

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