Indian govt urged to pay Apr-May wages to garment workers

April 25, 2020 - India

The Garments Exporters and Manufacturers Association (GEMA) recently appealed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state chief ministers to facilitate payment of wages to garment industry workers for April and May, saying it is not in a position to pay wages for these two months following a disruption caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.

GEMA president Vijay Jindal has sought the intervention of textile minister Smriti Irani and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the matter as well.

As the garment industry is labour intensive, 30-35 per cent of revenue comthe salary part.

"Most of the export orders have either been cancelled or put on hold, the consignments already shipped is also stuck. Even the apparel manufactured against orders are lying in factories because of the ban on movement/transport. The situation has become grave as they have yet not got any receipt of payment from the buyers," Jindal was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The recent government advisory that wages must be paid by employers even during the lockdown will push the apparel industry deeper into crisis, he said.

Jindal suggested the government should pay wages from the funds available in the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY) scheme.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) chairman A Sakthivel wrote a letter to Modi earlier mentioning the same demands.