Nine of the leading synthetic fibre producers of the country have written to the Prime Minister, asking that the existing import duty on inputs like PTA, DMT, MEG and caprolactum be lowered and a uniform rate of excise duty of 12 per cent be fixed on yarns of all kinds.

According to sources, the producers have sought an audience with the prime minister to present their case, the Hindu Business Standard reported.

The letter was signed by chiefs from Filatex India, Indo Rama, JCT Ltd, Jindal Polyester, Modipon, Nirlon, Parasrampuria Synthetics, Sanghi Polyester and SRF Ltd.

It asks for reduced import duty on PTA/DMT/MEG/caprolactum from 27.5 per cent to 10 per cent. It also asks for import duty cuts on the chips for making yarns and fibres from 38.5 per cent to 15 per cent. The businessmen have not asked for any reduction in the import duty on synthetic fibre.

In addition, the businessmen have asked for a unified excise duty of 12 per cent on cotton and PFY. At the moment, while cotton yarn attracts a duty of 12 per cent, PFY attracts a duty of 36.8 per cent. This, the letter says, is a revenue neutral proposal.

The synthetic fibre industry has seen growth of over 10 per cent in the last several years; but now growth has become restrained in the absence of a level playing field, the letter says.

It concludes that the target of exports worth $50bn by 2010 as laid down in the textile policy 2000 can be attained only if these steps are taken.