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Bangladeshi duty-free garments trouble West Bengal
Aug '12
“The unabated entry of duty-free readymade garments from Bangladesh will result in a decline of the home-grown West Bengal apparel manufacturing sector as producers will turn into dealers by importing cheaper clothing”, says Mr Vijay Kariwala – Vice-President of the West Bengal Garment Manufacturers and Dealers Association (WBGMDA).  

Sharing his concerns exclusively with fibre2fashion, he said, “The cost price of a garment produced in West Bengal goes up by around 15 percent after adding duties and taxes, while clothing can be imported from Bangladesh without paying any duties, which will mean that they can be sold at a lesser price”.

He added, “The garment industry of Bangladesh is aggressively trying to market their products in West Bengal and North Eastern states of India at a very comparatively cheaper price, since their cost of production is very low. This can only result in mass closure of apparel production units in West Bengal and surrounding states”.

During the visit of the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh last year, a trade agreement between the two countries were signed allowing duty-free entry of 61 items which include 46 readymade garment items like pants, shirts, blouses, skirts, kids wear, cotton nightwear, jeans, swimwear and tracksuits.

Mr Abdul Matlub Ahmad President of the Indo-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry had said in February, “Exports of clothing are expected to touch US $500 million in Bangladeshi fiscal year ending June 2012 from a very nominal figure in the previous fiscal ending June 2011”.

The garment units in Bangladesh are better organized having elaborate production system for mass production. Most of the units work in three shifts. The Government of Bangladesh grants liberal benefits to the export oriented readymade garment units in Bangladesh which contribute around 70 percent of overall overseas trade.

In terms of the economy of scale and convenient working atmosphere, the Bangladeshi units are in an advantageous position than that of India. I can only see the situation becoming graver with each passing day as the influx of duty-free garments from Bangladesh will only keep on increasing”, he informed. 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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