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Textile sector aches due to umpteen job losses
21
Nov '08
Coupled with rising cotton prices, textile industry is facing the burn of global recession and workers are the ones getting charred.

In the past six months near about 7 lakh people retrenched from the textile sector. Experts are of the opinion, unstable rupee, shooting cotton prices, power crisis, liquidity crunch and plunging export orders are mostly responsible for such predicament.

Mr D K Nair, Secretary General, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), in this context told to Fibre2fashion, “Textiles and clothing industry employs around 35 million workers directly. There is a perceptible decline in both exports and domestic sale of textile products in recent months. It is our estimate that around 7 lakh jobs have already lost in this industry during the current fiscal and another 5 lakh may be lost during the remaining part of the year, unless some serious remedial action is taken.”

The saddest part is daily wagers are the ones who suffered the most. The Indian textile industry engages nearly 35 million of daily labourers. “Mills are running hardly 3-4 days a week, or operating just 75 percent of their capacities or have reduced shifts from three to one,” added Mr Nair.

Last year, out of the total production of 31.5 million bales, India exported 8.5 million bales of cotton, as per the estimated of Government's Cotton Advisory Board (CAB). This year, production has been estimated at 32.2 million bales and exports at 7.5 million bales. Currently Indian cotton is the most expensive cotton in the world.

Further discussing the effects of rise in MSP of cotton, the Secretary General stressed, “Global cotton prices have been crashing because of lower demand, following the credit crisis and economic slow down in developed countries. In India, market forces are not allowed to operate, because of the unreasonably high Minimum Support Prices. Therefore, our cotton prices will remain uncompetitive in the international markets. Thus, in my opinion, exports are likely to decline substantially below the levels estimated by CAB.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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