Dear Friends,

This plat­form is hardly the ap­pro­pri­ate one to dis­cuss pol­i­tics, but the Gu­jarat Elec­tion re­sult does throw up a rel­e­vant con­clu­sion – that the demons of De­mon­eti­sa­tion and GST were ei­ther nonex­is­tent, or ex­ag­ger­ated, or at least, have been now over­come.

I am re­fer­ring to this from a lim­ited per­spec­tive of our In­dus­try’s be­lief, that these two eco­nomic re­forms were largely, if not wholly, re­spon­si­ble for the ap­par­ent slow down we are cur­rently going through. If most of ur­ban Gu­jarat, con­sist­ing largely of SMEs, Traders, and Tex­tile re­lated busi­nesses, voted for the Govern­ment that has in­tro­duced these re­forms, surely they are not feel­ing as much pain as we seem to have con­cluded.

Un­doubt­edly, sev­eral of the amend­ments brought about by the GST Coun­cil were steps in the right di­rec­tion, and the Tex­tile In­dus­try has seen a fair amount of re­lief – es­pe­cially in the pro­ce­dures. A lot more still needs to be done, and CMAI is con­tin­u­ing its ac­tive in­ter­ac­tion with the Govern­ment and the Coun­cil au­thor­i­ties to ad­dress these is­sues. With the ex­cep­tional re­spon­sive­ness shown by the Govern­ment, I am hope­ful that the In­dus­try’s con­cerns will be ad­dressed sooner or later.

The Ex­port Awards of AEPC held re­cently saw a unique Panel Dis­cus­sion, where Suresh Prabhu, Sm­riti Irani, Amitabh Kant from the Govern­ment and Ashok Ra­jani along with Pre­mal Udani from the In­dus­try par­tic­i­pated. It was an out­stand­ing panel and did not dis­ap­point in terms of the high level of ideas dis­cussed. AEPC de­serves credit for think­ing of this for­mat and get­ting these stal­warts to­gether. Well done!

In my last write up I had men­tioned that there was some talk of post­pon­ing the EOSS this time, in view of the ex­cel­lent win­ter be­ing felt in most of North and East In­dia. Even the grand old city of Mumbai was left shiv­er­ing at 15 de­grees! And true to my be­lief, most of the Re­tail­ers and Brands did post­pone their EOSS by a week or so – though one more week of full price sales would have done won­ders to the bot­tom line! But at least, a be­gin­ning has been made. Hope­fully, further ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion will be seen in the com­ing EOSS…

The book­ings for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the com­ing NGF have sur­passed all ex­pec­ta­tions, and as I write we have al­ready touched around 350 ap­pli­ca­tions. This is a record for our Jan­uary Fairs, and hope­fully, the Fair Com­mit­tee will be able to ac­com­mo­date all the ap­pli­ca­tions re­ceived. But this is an­other in­di­ca­tor to the fact that the In­dus­try is slowly inch­ing back to nor­malcy, and hope­fully, we shall once again see the double digit growth we were wit­ness­ing for years to­gether be­fore the cur­rent slow­down.

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