Worried officials of the Indian Cotton Mills Federation (ICMF) have voiced growing concern over a large rise in textile imports and a sharp drop in textile exports during the first half of the fiscal year.

Textile imports jumped 28 per cent during the six month period while exports of textile goods plunged 13 per cent, with the ICMF blaming the bad news on a surge in textile imports from countries such as Taiwan, Korea and China.

Textile exports to the United States also fell by more than 24 per cent to $971 million between April and September the ICMF claimed Tuesday. It added that in absolute terms, total textile exports had plummeted from $5.1 billion to $4.5bn during the period.

"The steady fall in exports is an indication that our textiles are being priced out in the international market," said ICMF chairman Rajaram Jaipuria, in a statement.

"But what is even more worrying is the quantum increase in imports which will mean that domestic consumers are going in for imports driven mostly by lower prices."

He added: "Such a change in the consumer behavioural patterns calls for introspection at the government level and taking speedy corrective measures to ensure the textile industry a level-playing field."