Export: Consider exports of perishable clothing as essential services: AEPC

NEW DELHI: The Clothing Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has made a fervent appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare clothing exports as essential services and exempt these export units from blockages across India .

“We call on the central government to give the necessary instructions to all state governments to declare clothing exports as essential services and exempt them from the shutdown,” wrote PEAC President A Sakthivel in a letter to Prime Minister.

“Most clothing exports are seasonally sensitive and fashionable, and their salvage value becomes zero if production and shipping is not done on time. Given the perishable nature of the product, clothing exports should be considered essential services. In addition, many neighboring and competing countries have already granted garment exports essential service status, ”Sakthivel said in a statement.

Apparel exporters have shown resilience to get back on track after being hit hard in 2020 by huge export order cancellations, bankruptcies and workers returning to their home countries. Export orders from the United States and Europe have resumed, but Indian garment exporters now risk losing them to competing countries as second wave of the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in lockdowns in several states.

“Due to the foreclosure, if the units are unable to fulfill these orders, it will not only result in a loss of orders and export revenue in the short term, but also a long term loss of buyers. Our competitor countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan are doing their utmost to take orders from these regions and if we lose our buyers at this point they will not come back in the near future ”, added Sakthivel in the press release.

Earlier today, the council held a videoconference meeting with buying houses and associations to discuss the second wave of the pandemic. The Sakthivel asked buying houses and agents to explain to international customers that the situation in India is improving. He said they should convince their customers not to cancel their orders as he believes India will rebound by mid-June.

“While the number of daily cases has increased from 3.5 lakh to around 2 lakh in the country, there have been few cases in the clothing sector. Last week, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu launched the vaccination of all garment workers, ”he said, adding that PEAC is working with other state governments to vaccinate all workers in the garment industry. clothes.

Representatives of homebuyers and associations said they were trying to convince buyers that this was a temporary setback and that things would improve soon. Buyers are also “extremely sympathetic” to aid to India but, unfortunately, as many companies are time sensitive, the current foreclosure will impact most time sensitive orders. Although buyers are not considering massive cancellations, as happened in 2020, some products will not be able to ship.

The garment industry, with 13 million direct workers, is India’s largest manufacturing employer and also engages many more workers indirectly in the country’s large clothing and textile value chain. Sakthivel called on Modi to intervene urgently and save lives, livelihoods and avoid major financial losses for clothing exporters, especially in the MSME segment. The letter was also shared with Interior Minister Amit Shah, Trade Minister Piyush Goyal and Textile Minister Smriti Zubin Irani.

He assured the government that all clothing units are and will continue to follow the strictest Covid-19 health protocols, ensuring worker health, safety and all necessary support.

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