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Experts scoff move to lower tariffs on import of clothing
26
Feb '09
Shrill cries seeking help are growing with each passing week and month from each and every sector from countries across the globe. The labour intensive textile and clothing sector which has been one of the most affected due to the ongoing turmoil is no different.

The Australian textile and garment sector which has been witnessing a dip in fortunes since the last few years has also joined the bandwagon in crying for help from its government. The slowdown has brought about a bigger misfortune in the sector.

The sector is a mute spectator to the closures being effected across the country. Recently the iconic Melba Industries, a supplier and exporter of protective clothing to government departments announced closing of its operation putting 240 jobs in jeopardy.

More recently Pacific Brands announced its intentions which would also call for around 1,800 workers loosing their jobs, which has brought together the stake holders from the industry to plea for help from its government.

To add salt to the wounds of the already aggrieved textile and garment sector, the government on its part is mulling to implement a report of Professor Green on building innovation in the country's textile, clothing and footwear sector in the country.

The report suggests making available Au $250 million in assistance to the sector until 2015, but also recommends cutting tariffs on imports of clothing. It proposes to cut tariffs ruling at 17.5 percent currently to 10 percent next year and 5 percent by 2015.

Industry experts are decrying this move on the part of the government to implement the suggestion of the report by saying that the report stands irrelevant in the current situation, as the situation has changed dramatically, from those days, since the report was submitted.

They say the biggest challenge facing the sector was availing of credit to help make operations run smoothly and have advised the government not to go ahead with the recommendations made in the report and instead freeze tariffs and make available easy credit.

The author of the report, though has defended the report, by saying that, the contents of the report are more relevant in current times as companies need to innovate to face the crisis head on, rather than concentrating on manufacturing of low cost products.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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