Chairman's word - June 2017

Dear Friends
Cheers to a 56 month high of 31% growth in exports in April 2017! I wish to congratulate and thank each one of you for making this possible. The April 2017 export figures give us hope of a massive rebound after three long years of stagnation. The importance of continued Government support in the form of Refund of State Levies (ROSL) and financial incentives for new employment generation cannot be undermined in this achievement. I take this opportunity to express the industry’s gratitude to the Government for their encouragement.
I heartily congratulate and welcome Shri Anant Kumar Singh, IAS, on assuming the office of Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, GOI. AEPC hopes to continue contributing constructively to the development and improvement of the Indian Apparel Industry under his able guidance. I look forward to working closely with and welcoming Shri Singh at the AEPC.
I would also like to thank outgoing Secretary Mrs. Rashmi Verma, IAS, for her strong engagement and valuable contribution to the trade.
India is at the cusp of major tax reforms and the introduction of GST is a watershed of sorts!. In order to enable seamless business, policymakers have been putting in efforts to address the collective wisdom of the industry for a sustainable and robust economic system. To highlight some post GST concerns of our industry, our dynamic textile minister Smt Smriti Z Irani arranged a meeting with Honorable Union Ministers of Finance Shri Arun Jaitley,  on the 26th  of May. I was joined by my colleagues from Aepc, CII and CITI and we stressed upon the need for continuation of ROSL, in its current form, under GST regime.  I am happy to share that we received a very positive response from the Ministers. 
In our continued efforts for a favourable drawback rate and continuation of ROSL, we have launched a media campaign to highlight the strong correlation of the present export growth with the ROSL. My sincere gratitude to our Honorable Textile minister Smt Smriti Z Irani for her proactive initiative. !
Meanwhile, AEPC has made institutional arrangements for imparting training on GST and its compliance requirements to its stake holders and officers across regions. We have engaged National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) approved training providers for the same. 
In association with ILO, we are working on developing a Good Practices Manual for Apparel units. We are also kicking off a series of workshops on Lean Management and Sustainability in Apparel – all very soon! Stay tuned to be a part of these initiatives.
I look forward to meeting some of you at the grandest Indian textiles show of this year – Textiles India 2017 from June 30 to July 2, 2017 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, which has been organized by the Ministry of Textiles.
Have a bright and cheerful summer!
Ashok G Rajani
Chairman, AEPC