The textiles industry in India enjoys a distinctive position due to the pivotal role it plays by way of contribution to industrial output, employment generation (second largest after agriculture) and export earnings of the country. The industry is rich and varied, embracing the hand-spun and hand-woven sector at one end and the capital intensive, sophisticated mill sector at the other. Its association with the ancient culture and tradition of the country lends it a unique advantage in comparison with textiles industry of other countries, thus giving it an uncommon edge to cater to a vast variety of products and market segments both domestically, as well as, globally.
The industry currently contributes about 14 per cent to industrial production, 4 per cent to GDP, and 17 per cent to the country’s export earnings, according to the Annual Report 2010-11 of the Ministry of Textiles. The industry accounts for nearly 12 per cent share of the country's total exports basket. It provides direct employment to more than 35 million people.
The textile industry comprises the following:
The Vision Statement for the textiles industry for the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) sees India securing a 7 per cent share in the global textiles trade by 2012. At current prices, the Indian textiles industry is valued at US$ 55 billion, 64 per cent of which caters to domestic demand.
The export of textiles and clothing (T&C) aggregated to US$ 22.42 billion in 2009-10. The Government fixed the target for 2010-11 at US$ 25.48 billion. So far during the period April- September 2010, exports of T&C have been achieved at US$ 11.26 billion.
During February 2011, total cloth production rose by 5.8 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y). During April- February 2011 cloth production increased by 4.5 per cent y-o-y.
Total textile exports during April-December 2010 registered an increase of 16.54 per cent in rupee terms at Rs 87,582.83 crore as against Rs 75,149.98 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year, according to the latest data released by DGCI&S, Kolkata. The same were valued at US$ 19,217.12 million as against US$ 15,695.07 million during the corresponding period of the previous year, registering an increase of 22.44 per cent.
The share of textile exports in total exports was 11.29 per cent during April-December 2010 as against 12.34 per cent during April- December 2009.
Technical Textile Segment
The technical textiles segment is expected to grow by 11 per cent per annum till 2012-13 and is likely to grow at 6-8 per cent per annum till 2020 without any policy interventions. If the government intervenes by way of regulatory push, the growth of technical textiles industry can be estimated at 12-15 per cent per annum till 2020, according to Rita Menon, Secretary, Union Ministry of Textiles. She added that the technical textiles segment in India has the potential to attract investment and create additional employment opportunities in coming years. She further said that investments of US$ 1.1 billion are expected by 2012 and employment is expected to increase to 1.2 million by 2012.