The government has exempted all cotton imports from customs duties from April 14 to September 30, 2022, with a view to help the textiles industry cope with raw material shortages. The move will also aid exports and provide relief to consumers, the Finance Ministry said.
A surge in domestic cotton prices due to lower-than-anticipated crop yields had put pressure on the textile sector’s export competitiveness vis-a-vis rivals like Vietnam and Bangladesh who don’t levy any import duty on cotton. Cotton imports are taxed at about 11%, including cess and surcharges, in India.
Higher cotton prices were also reflected in clothing and footwear inflation faced by domestic consumers, which surged to 9.4% in March, when retail inflation hit a 17-month high.