One Year of GST: How Much Has The Industry Changed?
HOW GST & DUTY DRAWBACK RATE CHANGE IS
AFFECTING APPAREL INDUSTRY
• The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was launched in India with effect from
1st July 2017.
• Our previous article <link> talks about this tax and its then immediate
effects in detail.
• The next jolt came for the industry in the form of duty drawback rate
revision, with effect from 1st October 2017.
• The article <link> talks about the updated rates and its expected effects on
• When these changes were made, the industry had various apprehensions,
regarding their success and effects on business.
• But, now after a year of GST implementation and around 9 months of duty
drawback rate revision, we need to look into the actual effects of these on
the Indian Apparel and Textile Industry.
Effects That Can Be Seen
• The 2017-18 fell flat as far as the growth of the domestic apparel and textile sector is
• High concentrations of businesses of the unorganized sector were struggling under the
effects of GST & duty drawback rate revision.
• In 2018-19 though, a growth rate of 10-12%  is anticipated, as things are stabilizing
and businesses are getting used to the new systems.
• Exports are a function of multiple variables, and GST and duty drawback revision did
bring the apparel and textile exports down.
• Along with fluctuating dollar value, these jitters have negatively affected the industry
exports to a great extent.
• Although global demand is positive, India’s relative cost disadvantage owing to slow
GST refunds and cut in the duty drawback is holding Indian Apparel exports back.
Did You Know: August, September, October, November, and December recorded 6.4%,
7.2%, 11%, 13.1% and 13.5% dip in export growth respectively last year.
• The biggest trouble that industry currently is experiencing
is the delays in GST refunds.
• Fund blockage is restricting the manufacturers from paying
their suppliers on time.
• Moreover, a strained hand on working capital is affecting
the effectiveness of manufacturers.
Did You Know: Tax refunds worth Rs 4,097 crore, haven’t yet
been cleared yet under GST.
Has The Industry Adapted To GST
• The global apparel industry is highly competitive, especially for India, as it faces a
tough competition from almost all its neighboring countries.
• Reduction of duty drawback rates has taken away the cost advantage India used to
enjoy in the global market.
• Moreover, increase in MSP (Minimum Support Price) to the farmers, has further led
to a growth in the price of the raw material, i.e. cotton and yarn in the country.
• Currently, India is exporting 25 to 30%  of its raw material produce to neighboring
competitors, which is concerning, as exporting raw material and importing garments
will further push India’s growth backward in the segment.
• The domestic industry, however, has seemed to have coped up with the
demonetization and GST blues.
• The market is sluggish, yet the domestic industry is on a growth trajectory. Although
growing garment imports from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, etc. is threatening
Did You Know: Garment exports from India have fallen by 17% in April-May 2018.
Why Is The Industry Still Pushing For A
Raise In Duty Drawback Rates
• Effective from January 25, 2018, the government implemented enhancement of duty drawback rates of 102
• But the textile industry is not content, as only wool items got its place in this list.
• Wool items form an insignificant part of the textile industry. Thus the industry is demanding an increase in either
drawback rates of ROSL (Rebate of State Levies) for yarn, fabric, and garments.
• The textile industry does not enjoy huge margins on its products. Thus blocked working capital is troubling
manufacturers, especially the MSME segment.
• The official GST duty on fabric is 5%, but the non-refund of excess input tax credit under the inverted duty
structure is adding up to this 5%, making it 8-9%  effectively. The imports, on the other hand, are paying only
• The other big issue the textile industry is jittery about is the fact that under the GST regime, the import duty has
come down to 10%. 
• Earlier, Basic duty, countervailing, and special additional duty (SAD) together added up to 29%. This reduction in
import duty is flooding the Indian market with imports from neighboring competitor nations, posing a threat to
the country’s small and medium scale manufacturers.
• The main aim of the government with the duty drawback
reduction and GST implementation was to bring the small
players to the organized sector in the industry.
• it has been successful in achieving that so far, but the limited
margins in the business and working capital blockages have
forced many small players out of the business too.
• Hence, both government and businesses need to reconsider
their business models and duty structures to ensure
Want to get more insight into this topic? Visit