India is negotiating a Broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) with the European Union (EU) and Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). India is committed to a pragmatic and balanced outcome of both the negotiations. India is awaiting the response of the EU side to resume the BTIA negotiations. 15 rounds on TEPA have been held. It is expected that greater trade and investment flows will result from these agreements in many sectors, including textiles.
The Government has been working continuously to increase export competitiveness of India in Europe as well as in other markets. Government has introduced special package for apparel and made-ups sector in June, 2016 and December, 2016, respectively. The government is also implementing schemes like Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS), Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rojgar Protsahan Yojna (PMPRPY), Scheme of Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) on export of garments, Schemes for Technical textiles, Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP), Integrated Skill Development Scheme, etc. to modernize textile industry, increase production and global competitiveness. Apart from the steps taken by the Government mentioned above, the Government has taken following initiatives to augment the textile exports:- Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) Scheme under new Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20; expanding its scope; restoring interest rate subvention for pre and post shipment credit for the textile sector; increased Duty Drawback rates for some textile articles; Market Access Initiative Scheme; Market Development Assistance Scheme; and Duty Free import of trimmings, embellishments and other specified item under Export Performance Certificate Entitlement Scheme.
This information was given by the Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.