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The Government of India as well as the governments of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member countries will shortly begin negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA), a senior official has said. The 5-member EAEU comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. India’s annual trade with EAEU is currently at $8.4 billion.

Fibre based Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the fabric or garment stage can result in a huge misdeclaration, according to Manikam Ramaswami, chairman and MD of Loyal Textile Mills Ltd. He is in favour of the GST Council imposing a 5 per cent tax on cotton fibre and said it will not make cotton textiles more expensive as all state taxes will get absorbed.

The textiles ministry has completed consultations with stakeholders and outreach sessions with the industry, and is currently in the process of finalising draft guidelines of the National Textiles Policy. After adding inputs from the Textiles India 2017 fair this month, the policy is likely to be put for Cabinet approval next month, a senior official said.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is launching a GST enabled Computer system called BizGuru with support of premier accounting software company Tally Solutions Limited and leading computer hardware global Acer India Limited. CAIT has introduced the solution to educate the trading community at mass level regarding the basic fundamentals of GST.

Man-made fibre and synthetic yarn would have inverted duty structure problem as they would be levied Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 18 per cent, while man-made and synthetic fabric would attract only 5 per cent GST rate. Keeping the rates of key inputs at a higher level will affect the competitiveness of small and medium synthetic textile manufacturers.

The textile industry has appreciated government's decision to tax 5 per cent GST rate on apparel below Rs 1000 and above those will be charged at 12 per cent. With the implementation of GST rates at every level of the textile value chain, it will be difficult to evade taxes, according to Arvind Sinha, president, Textile Association (India).