Chairman's word - October 2017

Dear Friends,
Challenges and Opportunities are two sides of the same coin. While this year has brought along a number of opportunities for the industry, we have also had our bit of challenges.
The unfortunate and unexpected reduction in Drawback and ROSL rates has been disheartening for all of us. I assure you that we have been in regular conversation with policy leaders and are working aggressively to find ways to meet this new challenge. I have also been promised some measures towards respite by the Honourable Union Minister of Commerce and our Honourable Union Minister of Textiles and I&B. Meanwhile, a detailed strategy and action plan has been drawn up, to ensure that our concerns on GST and Drawback are attended to. An important part of this strategy is to strengthen our relationships and work closely with State representatives of the GST Council. In the days directly ahead, I request your understanding, support and suggestions to tide over this difficult chapter.
An opportunity has come knocking at the same time. While our sector has always been well identified for its potential to generate the highest employment, the due policy support and priority can be now expected to be visible very soon. This was reflected in my recent rendezvous with Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. I am pleased to share that Niti Ayog has already invited us to work with select State Governments for a favourable Apparel Package. In fact, friends, I welcome you to this window of opportunity that AEPC has opened up under its State Partnership Initiative. The States of Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Orissa, Gujarat, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh are rolling out a red carpet for our sector for its potential in addressing non employment and  the fillip it can give to the downstream domestic industry. I urge you to consider this offer to avail the various wage subsidies and capital incentives. 
The 38th Annual General Meeting of AEPC was held on 28th September. I express my gratitude to all those who attended the same. In our export promotion drive, we recently concluded the very successful third edition of India Trend Fair in Tokyo, Japan. We are hopeful of a similar triumph in the forthcoming Buyer Seller meet in Spain. 
I take this opportunity to pay my homage to Shri Shantilal Liladhar Shah (1932 - 2017), Founding Member and Chairman Emeritus, AEPC. His philosophy will continue to guide us in our thoughts and actions.
As this Deepawali season begins, let us not tire of challenges and so conduct ourselves as an enterprising industry that sets an example for the next generation to look up to. Wish your families, buyers, team and you a very Happy and Safe Diwali!