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Garment workers fearful over loss of GSP+
Aug '10
Garment workers of Sri Lanka fear losing their jobs as garment factory owners are finding ways to reduce costs on account of loss of GSP Plus benefits from European Union along with which they also expect lose of market share.

15 Asian countries avail GSP Plus benefits while trading with EU countries. Suspension of such a benefit is likely to hit Sri Lankan garment industry the hardest, as garment exports account for over 50 percent of country's total exports to EU countries.

Several garment factories of the country have already been affected by the GSP loss where the workers have been receiving meager wages since long and are fighting for salary revision and overtime payments.

Sri Lanka availed a 10 percent tax concession alone from the GSP+ Scheme. According to the experts, the country will witness revenue loss of 15 to 20 percent as garments account for 65 percent of country's total exports to EU.

Trade union leaders blamed government and factory owners for not putting enough efforts to resolve the crisis caused due to the loss of GSP+ concessions. Sri Lanka has lost its competitive stand in the market on account of the withdrawal of the GSP facility, say experts.

The government had been asked by the unions to take effective steps to continue GSP Plus benefits, but the government had failed to do so, he added.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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