Keep rural wages low to attract investments – Mirza, PRGMEA
Mr Mohsin Ayub Mirza, Chairman, PRGMEA
A proposition has been put forth by the Chairman of an apex apparel export body that, rural wages should be lower than those prevailing in urban areas to attract manufacturers to invest in rural areas and create job opportunities for people living in these regions. Mr Mohsin Ayub Mirza, Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA), made these comments while speaking to fibre2fashion.
According to Mr Mirza, “Rural wages should be 35 percent lower than those prevailing in urban areas and it is necessary that Pakistan adopt two levels of wages. Garment industry is the only employment sector, wherein only eight weeks of training of even an uneducated person can turn him/her in to a skilled worker.
“Cost of living in urban and rural areas is like a day and night difference. Moreover, serious unemployment prevails in the rural areas as there is no industry to support job creation. On top of everything else, females are big contributors to the rural economy. By employing more and more females in the garment sector will not only help in female empowerment but will also help Pakistan's garment industry by improving the overall quality levels achieved in the Far-East by employing more and more female labor force.”
When asked as to where the textile policy lacks to achieve the target of $25 billion export, he replied by saying, “Actually the road map is not very clear. Marketing techniques are undefined and are not focused. Currently we are following shot-gun approach. Whereas, what is actually needed is a clearly defined focused approach which should be tailored to each target market as each market has its unique dynamics and specific requirements. Unless and until these are not followed proper market penetration is not possible.”
Next we asked him as to how the poor vision of policy makers has affected the apparel industry, to which he said, “First of all we have to realize that US $25 billion export target can be achieved, only if each and every single kilogram of cotton cultivated is converted into value-added products. Also, policy vision is not poor but what it lacks is implementation and execution.
“Each and every individual sector within the textile industry has its own sets of dynamics and should be looked at accordingly. A task force should be formed for monthly review of each sector within the textile value-chain by members from the Textiles Ministry and Commerce Ministry. This task force should determine the hurdles being faced by textile industry in achieving their objectives.
“To give an example, supposing that the garment industry is not doing so well in some market, then maybe the task force could point out bed-linen or any product as an area of potential and focus more on that segment. Unless and until the whole textile industry of Pakistan is not geared like a properly tuned engine, diffused and scattered efforts will not achieve the targets,” he concluded by saying.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India