The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) is calling for a 5% reduction in customs duty on synthetic fabric to help boost garment exports in India.

In its pre-budget proposal to the government, the AEPC said its suggestions aim to enhance 100% of garment exports in three years and 10% within the 2012-13 financial year.

"The Government should also provide 5% incentive under Market Linked Focus Product Scheme for the exports made to other than traditional markets because exports to non-traditional markets have been growing and it needs the adequate support at right time," said AEPC chairman Dr A Sakthivel.

He is also asking for the removal of the excise duty imposed on branded ready-made garments. In the last budget, a 12% excise duty was imposed on ready-made garments sold under a brand name in India.

"As per the recent agreement with Bangladesh, the garments imported from Bangladesh do not attract any customs duty and also their prices are lower than the Indian products due to various factors.

"Considering the employment and also to face the competition from the Bangladesh products, we request to remove the excise duty imposed on branded readymade garments," Sakthivel added.

The association also seeks the waiving of service tax on taxable service and expansion of services.

Sakthivel said grant in aid (MAI/MDA) to the AEPC for events and exhibitions should not be liable to service tax.

The recommendations should be proposed to enhance the competitiveness of India's textile and garment industry and mitigate the impact of the imminent recession in major markets, which has impacted garment exports this year, Sakthivel added.