Indian apparel industry faces worst crisis ever; 6M workers could be axed

Representatives of various trade bodies of Indian apparel industry addressing the press conference

If Indian apparel exporters don’t get immediate support from the Government, the industry will be compelled to drop 6 million jobs in the next few months which is nearly half of the workers employed in the industry.

The plunge of Indian apparel export seen in October is expected to continue in November also with about 30 per cent decrease from the same month last year. In October, the industry witnessed a sharp reduction of 41 per cent in exports.

North India, comprising Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon Faridabad, Jaipur and Ludhiana make around 40 per cent of the overall apparel manufacturing base of the country. In last one month, at least 50,000 workers have already lost their jobs in these hubs. The owners claim they don’t have enough orders to keep their factories running.

Looking to this alarming situation, 5 trade bodies of Indian apparel export industry came together to urge the Government to restore the drawback, in existence prior to the GST implementation, at least till March 2018, as the industry needs time to adjust to the GST system and reclaim funds held up due to delays which are causing liquidity crunch.

The importance of quickly refunding these blocked funds was highlighted at the press conference held recently in New Delhi.

Sudhir Sekhri, Chairman, Garment Exporters Association (GEA); PMS Uppal, President, Okhla Garment and Textile Cluster (OGTC); Vinod Dhawan President, Apparel Exporters & Manufacturers Association (AEMA); Lalit Thukral, President, Noida Apparel Export Cluster (NAEC); Navin Advani, Garment Exporters Association of Rajasthan (GEAR) jointly shared that across India hundreds of apparel factories have closed down and many are using only 40 to 50 per cent of their capacities due to lesser orders.

“Apparel export industry is on the ventilator, there is nearly 30 per cent decrease in order bookings and if we don’t get favourable policies soon, the trade will vanish from this country,” said the representatives of these associations very forcefully.

At present, Indian apparel industry is in the process of executing Christmas orders and has been placed in a very uncompetitive position, with fear of losing buyers, maybe forever looming large.