The Union Cabinet has approved a special package for textile and apparel sector. The package is a strategic decision that would strengthen and empower the Indian textile and apparel sector by improving its cost competitiveness in the global market. The measures also assume significance due to its potential for social transformation through women empowerment; since 70% of the workforce in the garment industry are women, majority of the new jobs created are likely to go to women.
“It is a very comprehensive package that has addressed the needs of the industry; and it will also help decrease unemployment,” says Ashok G Rajani, Chairman of Apparel Export Promotion Council.
“The cost differential that India suffers vis-à-vis our competing countries has been duly addressed. The refund of employers contribution of EPF, Additional incentives under ATUFS, enhanced duty drawback coverage with drawback for domestic duty paid inputs even when fabrics are imported under Advance Authorization Scheme, etc, are support that will help the industry gain cost competitiveness,” he adds.
He also stated that the labor reforms will not only help the industry, but also the workmen as it encourages new employment, ensures better take-home salaries for lower income workers and puts contractual workers at par with permanent workman in terms of working hours, wages, allowed and other statutory dues.
“The industry is gearing up the US$ 20 bn target set for this year. With a decline in exports for the last five months in a row and major global markets still recording negative growth, the package is timely and gives the industry hope for revival,” says Rajani.
“I believe this is an excellent policy overhaul by the government. The sector is in dire need of such changes and would appreciate if the government brings about such changes on a regular basis. Trade will grow unabated with such policies,” says Lalit Thukral, M/s Twenty Second Miles.