India’s raw silk imports from China halves in 5 years

13 Mar 2013


India has been steadily reducing its dependence on raw silk from China and has nearly halved such imports from 10,000 tonnes five years ago to around 5,700 tonnes at present, a top official of Central Silk Board (CSB) said today.

''The dependence on China was to the extent of 10,000 tonnes annually five years ago and it had now been reduced to around 5,700 tonnes,'' CSB member-secretary Ishita Roy said.

''We want to bring it down to a level of zero. By 2022, we will bring it to zero'', she said.

She said various measures undertaken by the central and state government through CSB like ensuring better prices to farmers and better deal for reelers and those involved in the value chain have helped reduce imports of raw silk despite increase in demand.

The central government's budget for the year 2013 had announced increase in the basic custom duty on silk imports from the existing level of 5 per cent to 15 per cent in order to help the domestic sericulture and silk industry.

India exported silk textiles worth Rs2,523 crore in 2011-12, Roy said. She said the exports dropped sharply in the first nine months of the current fiscal, owing largely to down-turn in India's main markets of the US and Western Europe.

With exporters diversifying into ''stable geographies'', particularly Scandinavian countries, the UAE and South Africa, she said, shipments have started looking up impressively in the last two months.

Chairman of CSB N S Bisse Gowda said the country produced 23,060 tonnes of raw silk in 2011-12 (including 18,395 tonnes of mulberry silk and 4,835 tonnes of vanya silks), and that this figure would touch at least 24,000 tonnes in the current fiscal.

Gowda said an additional area of 59,000 hectare is proposed to be brought under mulberry during the 12th Plan period.

''The raw silk production target (annually during the 12th plan) is around 32,000 tonnes which include 5,000 tonnes of superior quality raw silk and 6,000 tonnes of improved gradable cross breed mulberry silk (2A/3A grade) which caters to the need of silk power-looms and silk mills'', he said.

The annual production target fixed for annual Vanya silk production is 9,000 tonnes during 12th plan, Gowda added.

Raw silk imported from China (Qty: tonnes - Value : Rupee-Crore)


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