The Economic Survey 2017 released by Government of India has, for the First Time, focused specially on Apparel and Leather Sector by introducing a separate chapter for those sectors.
In a press release issued today, Shri.Raja M Shanmugham, President said he wholeheartedly welcome this unique move of Government of India. He further mentioned that the constraints expressed for India to lag behind competitors in the apparel sector are real and current and there is a need to remove those bottlenecks enlisted through a focused approach. Shri.Raja M Shanmugham pointed out this reason and categorically stated that this was the reason TEA was requesting for a separate ‘Knitwear Board’ to address these industry requirements on a timely basis.
Shri.Raja M Shanmugham endorsed the positive impact of the demonetization stated in the Economic Survey and hoped there would be elimination of unethical business from the trade.
Shri.Raja M Shanmugham said as mentioned in the survey document, labour law reforms is the paramount importance to be addressed immediately by the Government. Besides, FTA with US and EU to expedited to remove the tariff barriers with competing nations. Shri.Raja M Shanmugham further noted that the survey has stated that after having Free Trade Agreement with EU and UK would increase the apparel exports by US $ 2 bn and the employment by 1,10,000, mostly women employees. He appealed to expedite the FTA / PTA with EU and UK considering the exports and employment.
Shri.Raja M Shanmugham concerned about the delay in the implementation of the scheme and said there is a need to minimize the time taken between the policy announcements and the passage of benefits to the industry. For example, Rebate on State Levies (ROSL) scheme announced four months back are yet to be passed on to the exporters.
Shri.Raja M Shanmugham mentioned that another important reasons for the lack of competitiveness of Indian Industry is the lack of properly skilled and trained laborers because of the ‘self groomed’ nature of the existing skill inventory. Only by carrying out a mass upskilling initiative, labour skill levels can be improved to move towards zero defect manufacturing.
Finally, Shri. Raja M Shanmugham said only through the collective effort with participation of all stakeholders, we can graduate from the present abysmal 3.5 % of world apparel trade and increase the market share to 20%.
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