Tirupur is the seventh largest city in Tamil Nadu and is one
of the fastest developing cities in the state. Popularly referred to as "Dollar City" or "Small Japan" or Banian City" it excels in knitted
ready-made garments. Yet, at first glance, nothing about Tirupur can make one
believe that this town earns and annual $1200 million plus in foreign exchange.
This is because the state government and local municipal authorities have been
too slow to cope with this dynamic growth.
The main problems and difficulties faced by the Tirupur
Garment industry relate to raw material availability, pricing, subsidiary and
ancillary industries like processing units, labour, taxation and other
Raw material availability
Raw material availability is a vital area for any industry,
whereas uncertainty is prevailing in India with respect to the major raw
materials, namely, cotton and yarn, etc.., the undue and frequent price fluctuations, the mismatch between supply and demand, lack of proper forecasting of
political decisions and other commitments.
Compared to other countries the production costs are much
higher in Tirupur, and the Tirupur exporters find it difficult to compete with
other countries. For example, in Bangladesh they are able to quote prices that are lower by 17 percent, thus securing very good export orders. In Tirupur, the knitting,
processing and finishing units are scattered all over, whereas other countries
are run under one-roof.
Compared to other countries, the higher fuel cost in India mainly Tirupur is a major draw back. The duties and taxes on petroleum products are also higher in India especially in Tirupur.
Processing units are located at different places; lately
discharge of effluents has proved another problem. The government is well aware
of the situation that existed for over four decades, and all of a sudden
industrial units were put under pressure. While the units are tiny in nature
they are asked to have effluent treatment plants.
Unlike other countries labour has become a very sensitive
area to handle in Tirupur. Skilled labour in the basic, requirement. Some big
industries spend huge time and money on training,
but unfortunately there is no assurance or binding on the part of trained
labour to continue to work in one place.
Taxation and other laws
The bureaucracy in India, particularly the customs and
excise, income tax, foreign trade, etc.., is in general not happy with any
business community, particularly exporters. The rules and regulations and
policies of one ministry are contradictory to those of another. Different interpretations are made and objections raised. Show case notices are issued by the officials, and
the entrepreneurs are put to a lot of difficulties.