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Home / News / Lift curbs on export of spun-bond non-woven fabric: NWFI

Lift curbs on export of spun-bond non-woven fabric: NWFI

Jul '20
Pic: Non Woven Federation of India
Pic: Non Woven Federation of India
The Non-Woven Federation of India (NWFI) recently urged the government to remove restrictions on export of spun-bond non-woven fabrics and various types of masks, saying the curbs are hurting the domestic industry. It also sought removal of restrictions on exports of 3-ply surgical and N95 masks.

If the government is concerned about the availability of fabric for personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and masks after lifting of the restrictions, it can reserve half of the non-woven fabric production for domestic consumption and allow exports of the remaining half, the federation said.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in March had prohibited exports of textile raw materials for masks and coveralls, and surgical or disposable masks in March. However, on July 13, DGFT allowed exports of non-woven fabric other than 25-70 grams per square metre (GSM), while continuing to prohibit exports of fabric of 25-70 GSM, the NWFI said.

"Majority of the demand is for spunbond non-woven fabric of 25-70 GSM. This policy of partially lifting of ban on non-woven fabric exports is technically not correct, as there is no differentiation in manufacturing facilities on the basis of GSM," NWFI president Suresh Patel was quoted as saying by a news agency.

He said manufacturers can make fabric of GSM ranging from 10 to 200 in the same plant with change in the process speed.

"However, there should not be any restrictions on the export of fabric based on particular GSM," said Patel.

The domestic consumption of spun-bond non-woven fabric for medical application such as PPE kit, 3-ply masks and N95 masks is around 5,200 tonnes per month, which is 12.6 per cent of the total production capacity of 41,350 tonnes.

Similarly, capacity utilisation of 3-ply surgical masks and N95 masks is just 18 per cent of the total monthly installed capacity of 79.89 crore pieces.

"These figures show that the country is self-sufficient in spun-bond non-woven fabric and surgical mask requirements. Hence, the restrictions on their exports do not make any practical sense," said NWFI vice president Anshumali Jain.

Jain added that before the ban was imposed in March, the capacity utilisation was 90 per cent, and the products were being exported across the world. India is losing market share in the international market because of the curbs, said Jain.

The spun-bond non-woven industry directly employs about 6.5-7 lakh people, while the indirect employment is estimated at more than 20 lakh.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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