Apparel manufacturers and retailers, who are still getting harassed due to petty issues regarding the Packaged Commodity Act, may soon get some relief!
This was recently assured by the Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Consumer Affairs in a meeting.
Rahul Mehta, President, The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI), recently met Smriti Irani, Minister of Textiles and Ram Vilas Paswan, the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution together on the aforementioned issue.
Speaking to Apparel Resources, Rahul said “The textiles ministry, and in particular Smriti Irani, has been extremely supportive of our stand. With her personal involvement and appeal to Ram Vilas Paswan, the Ministry issued several advisories and notifications to clarify conditions under which apparels sold in a ‘loose’ or open form, would not be under the ambit of Packaged Commodities Act.”
He further said “Several compulsory declarations were also waived. However, misinterpretations of these clarifications and minor technical errors result in continuing harassment of manufacturers and retailers at the field level.”
It is pertinent to mention here that industry has strong contention that since most of the apparels are sold in an open form, and are subject to touch, feel and trial by the customers, apparels as a category cannot come under the Packaged Commodity Act, which essentially covers products that are sold to consumers in a sealed and packed form.
Similar products such as watches and spectacles have got favourable rulings from various courts of law, which have clarified that where a product which has been kept in a pack merely for sake of protection, and is available for testing, feeling and checking by the consumer before purchase, cannot be considered a packaged commodity.
To provide the much-needed relief for the industry, CMAI yet again took up this matter to both the ministries and again impressed upon them the need to either remove apparels from the ambit of the Act or take steps to ensure no further harassment for the Industry.
“The Ministry officials and CMAI have had very fruitful discussions on the issue, and we are hopeful that this issue will be adequately taken care of in near future,” said Rahul.