Exporters protest they need at least a year more to comply, if business isn’t to be lost
The government has made mandatory a certification of any textile product exported as an organic one, under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).
NPOP certification is already required for raw cotton. It is to now also cover finished organic textile products such as yarn, fabrics, made-ups and garments.
“While a national standard for organic cotton is a welcome move, the manner in which it is being implemented will create havoc in the organic textile industry and lead to loss of export business,” complained R K Dalmia, Chairman, The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council.
Textile exporters have urged the government to extend the NPOP certification deadline by at least a year, to allow the export industry to adapt in a realistic timeframe, without hampering current export.
Dalmia noted the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority is yet to give accreditation to the certifying bodies.
“Buyers are insisting on certificates issued under the global organic textile standard. This is also specified in the letter of credits and contracts. In view of this, not only the exporter but also the importers (buyers) need to understand and accept the changes in certification procedures. This would also require additional time,” he said.
At a time when export of textiles is sluggish and there is a widening trade deficit, there is a need to ensure adequate time is given to exporters and importers to adjust and adopt the new procedural requirements, is the complaint.
Data compiled by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) showed cumulative growth of 17.6 per cent in export to $8.3 billion over April-September, the first six months of this financial year, over the same period in 2013-14.
At an event recently, Virender Uppal, chairman of AEPC, said: “Increasing labour cost in China, non-compliance with a large number of factories in Bangladesh, the high rate of inflation and currency appreciation in competing countries have provided India a big opportunity in relative advantage.”