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Relocate garment units to rural areas- Industry leaders
Nov '09
Two scales of wages should be introduced for workers in urban and rural areas of Pakistan, similar to that of China and India and a few apparel and garment units should be relocated to rural areas to reduce the production cost, suggested Mr. Mohsin Ayub Mirza, Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Prgmea).

The business leaders suggested that the government should not grant permission to establish new apparel and garment units in urban areas and should develop small industrial clusters, equipped with all necessary infrastructures, at least 150 km away from major cities and towns.

Moreover, a group of business leaders have approached the government to frame new parameters to set up textile and clothing units.

Though the country is world's 4th largest cotton producer, it failed to avail complete benefit of this bounty, which can lend hand to enhance the standard of living of the less-privileged and deprived segment of the society, added business leaders.

In India, a worker in New Delhi is paid $110 per month, but a worker doing the same job outside the city receives around $40 only. Similarly, in China a worker in Hong Kong receives $150 but elsewhere he is given half of that.

Two wage system will also prove to be helpful in improving economic conditions of the rural people apart from bringing the production cost down. More than 60 million people of Pakistan are living below poverty line and most of them belong to rural areas.

These objectives could be achieved only with proper legislation, said Mr. Mohsin. Also, the industrial areas would need tax holidays in order to encourage entrepreneurs to move some of their existing facilities to rural areas. The industrial clusters to be set up in rural areas could generate employment opportunities for around 51 percent of women living in these areas, he added.

Besides, he underlined that only low-value production units should be allowed to set up in rural areas, while high-value production units should be kept in big cities as they need advanced plants and machinery along with qualified and proficient manpower.

The government should also impart training on handling different modes of raw material such as cotton yarn, synthetic yarn and silk by opening training centres, he suggested. These measures could offer minimum wages of Rs. 4,000 in rural areas, which is an adequate amount for rural living standards.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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