Garment industry urges Karnataka govt to allow factories to operate at 50% attendance

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on April 26, 2021

Delay in supply of finished goods will affect the European buyers and will result in huge penalty, losses

The garment industry Karnataka Employers’ Association (KEA) has urged the State government to allow garment factories to operate at 50 per cent attendance and with strict Covid measures.

Earlier in the day, the state Cabinet at its meeting decided to impose state-wide lockdown and allowed only construction activities and manufacturing industry to function normally. However Garment factories were ordered to be shut.

KEA president BC Prabhakar, citing the following reasons to allow garment factories to open, said, “Garment factories employ maximum number of employees next only to agriculture. In Bengaluru alone, there are more than 8 lakh workers employed in this sector.”

Whilst other industries have been permitted to operate with minimum or 50 percent strength, permitting garment industries also to work on the same basis will help a large number of workers.

European Orders

According to Prabhakar, the garment industry has already received a lot of orders with strict timelines to deliver. European markets have just opened and they have sent huge orders. If there is a delay in supply of finished goods to the buyers, it would result in huge penalties, losses and also it will result in employment loss.

“Most of the finished goods are exported to many foreign countries. If manufacturers don’t supply the finished goods within the stipulated period, the foreign buyers will divert it to other countries like Bangladesh thereby the garment industry will permanently lose even the future orders,” he added.

Total closure can lead to people leaving the city to their hometowns and they may not return for some time. Many of the workers in the garment industry are from North India and also from neighbouring villages and across Karnataka. “Once they go back to their hometowns, they are not likely to return back for quite some time. This will put the industry in further trouble when it is already struggling,” pointed out KEA president.

Raw Materials

Talking about raw materials, he said: “materials dispatched from suppliers are in transit from across the country. If the garment industry is allowed to work with at least 50 percent employee’s strength, they will be able to download the materials. Otherwise, they will be burdened with additional transport charges and demurrages.”

“Raw materials are outsourced from several small enterprises who in turn source from cotton growers. Closing down the entire Garment industry will therefore badly affect the cotton growers in particular and farming community in general,” he added.

Garment industries have been strictly adhering to all the guidelines and Covid protocols and they will continue to follow the same. Moreover, their Covid protocols and production processes are monitored by foreign buyers under UN protocols for strict compliance.

“There are certain processes operating in three shifts, which are continuous in nature. Full closure will affect maintenance operations which will result in corrosion of machinery,” said Prabhakar adding, “Considering all the points, we request the government to allow the garment industry to operate with at least 50 per cent manpower strength. You are therefore kindly requested to issue a suitable clarification in this regard to allay the apprehensions of the employers and employees of garment industries.”

Published on April 26, 2021

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