New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) The government will start “trend forecasting” for textiles sector this month, using commercial intelligence to determine what could be in vogue in near future, as India gears up to influence global fashion trends, a top official said Wednesday.

Textiles Secretary Raghvendra Singh also said the ministry along with export promotion councils was firming up schemes for apparel and made-ups sectors which are WTO-compliant.

“This project has been sanctioned and will be set up around February 26, which basically means that all the commercial intelligence in this sector can be used for forecast the trends in 6 months or a year. This will lead to a big change which is the need of the hour,” he told reporters.

“We are actually getting influenced by international trends. The kind of punch we have in the textiles sector, it is high time that we became influencers,” he added.

Singh pointed out that India was unable to compete in apparel exports because of zero duty access in countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam.

“In the past 1-2 months, we have managed to with the help of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Revenue (Department). We are trying to take care of WTO-compliance, which is obviously an issue now.

“These things will obviously be added incentives for the exporters which will allow them to compete with the EU and other countries also,” he said.

Asked if he was referring to more incentives in the pipeline for apparel sector under the MEIS (Merchandise Exports from India Scheme), the secretary quipped “absolutely”.

Besides, he said, an innovation and incubation centre is also being set up which will incubate startups in the sector and handhold them to move forward.

Singh said a repository of various indigenous crafts will also be prepared.

On technical textiles sector and speciality fibres, he said the ministry was thinking in terms of joint ventures with other countries, and government to government talks are on.

He said the government will make more announcements in a week’s time for the technical textiles sector.

The secretary also said the Remission of State Levies Scheme was being examined for changes and hinted towards a hike in rebates. PTI

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.