INDIA: Industry may return to glory soon

COIMBATORE: The cotton textile sector is poised to improve its performance in the coming months, thanks to the integration of the global textile trade into the GATT regime and also measures taken by the Government like removal of the excise duty structure, according to Mr G.K. Sundaram, Emeritus President of the South India Cotton Association (SICA) and Chairman and Managing Director of Lakshmi Mills Company.

Addressing the 25th annual general meeting of SICA here, Mr Sundaram held the view that with quota abolition, India would emerge the most favoured destination for the US importers seeking to source fabric and garments.

"I feel India's textile industry will get back to its original glory soon,'' Mr Sundaram said, adding that however in order to stay afloat in the competition and against the competing manmade fibres, the country's cotton should improve its fibre strength and micronaire.

Speaking at the AGM, the President of SICA, Mr C. Soundara Raj, said that the favourable climate, increased yield and spread of Bt cotton to more acreage had all contributed to increase in cotton production in all States expected to be higher by 8 per cent in 2004-05, over 2003-04. The daily arrivals of new cotton in all primary markets are estimated to be 15,000 bales and are likely to go up to 1,00,000 bales per day by Diwali.

According to him, with the expected rise in supply this year, the cotton prices must stabilise at a reasonable level and the higher yield would also ensure remunerative prices to the growers.

Imports will depend on the price parity between domestic cotton and that of international cotton. With most cotton producing countries, including the US producing better crop this year, an easy price trend will prevail this time, which will give new opportunity for the Indian mills.

The SICA President said that his association had entered into a tie-up with the private courier, Professional Couriers, which will enable the members and the non-members using the SICA's cotton testing laboratory to get the testing material delivered to them free-of-courier fee and which will be absorbed by the association itself.

SICA office-bearers: Mr C. Soundara Raj has been re-elected as President. The other office-bearers who were re-elected for 2004-05 are Mr K.N. Viswanathan (Honorary Secretary), Mr A. Ramani (Joint Secretary), Mr V. Ravichandran and Mr Hiralal P. Malani (Vice-Presidents).

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Added: September 28, 2004 Source: Agencies
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