Non-leather footwear manufacturing units in Tamil Nadu, numbering less than 50, are expected to scale up and increase their share in the export market in six or seven years.
V. Noushad, president of Confederation of Indian Footwear Industries, told The Hindu India had just about 3% share in the global footwear export market. Of this, share of non-leather footwear was just about 1%. China and Vietnam had substantial share in the global market. However, with China reducing its focus on footwear and western markets looking at alternative sourcing points, Indian manufacturers had huge potential to tap the market.
Annual global consumption of footwear exceeded 22 billion pairs and 85% was non-leather. India made about two billion pairs a year and units in Tamil Nadu were estimated to have roughly less than 10% share.
Tamil Nadu government recently came out with a footwear policy and the Guidance Tamil Nadu was trying to bring in investments to the State. Almost six overseas units signed MoU with the State government. These included investments in raw materials and footwear production. The State offered land at subsidised rate at SIPCOT estates located in B category districts and turnover based subsidy of 1.5% and 1.75% for units in B and C category districts.
The Central government was also working on a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for footwear, footwear raw materials, machinery, and moulds with an outlay of ₹ 2,600 crore. The scheme was looking at ₹50 crore, ₹100 crore, ₹150 crore investments and was expected to be launched in three months. The draft scheme said incentives would be available to units for both expansion of existing capacities and creating new capacities.
The PLI scheme was to create global champions. India needed to develop on both raw material availability and skill training in the non-leather footwear sector. With the PLI scheme, India could increase its share in exports to nearly 20 %, he said.
With support from the Central and State governments, the footwear sector in the State would see almost 200% growth by 2030, he said.