There is a general feeling that the garment export industry did not fare well for quite some time. It is now more than two years of wait,after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government took charge, that this feeling slowly gave way to discontent, disappointment and even frustration among some. As the saying goes, if you sit on the railway tracks, some one else will overtake you or you run the risk of getting run over! Until year 2000, India had a preeminent position of being a large garment exporter. Now the neighbour Bangladesh had overtaken for many years. Policy paralysis, incompetency and corruption are factors that contributed.
Compliance auditors frequently interact with export associations, manufacturers and several decision makers, which provide a unique opportunity to have a snapshot view of the state of affairs. From the beginning of 2016, WRAP implemented revised principles. As is well known,WRAP focus has been and continues to be an alley of ” progress with purpose” and being humane is human. WRAP wishes to achieve it with Honesty, Transparency, Timeliness and Target driven processes.
As if by cue, there has been recent changes initiated by the government that gives hope for renewed vigour and hope for the industry.
1. The government introduced an incentive scheme for the apparel industry; close to USD 1 billion investment.
Large percentage of the investment is known as textile up gradation fund. Hopefully money would be spent on technology improvement,which is badly needed.
2. A new textile minister, Smriti Irani, has taken over. She is known for aggressive policies, action oriented schemes and monitors the activities closely. Apparel industry has welcome her appointment and is very hopeful for renewed thrust on exports. Probably it is a strategy by a dynamic Prime Minister to bring in a new minister, to revive the full potential of a prominent sector to generate revenues and generate employment.
3. Revision of Labor Laws:
Legal requirements are central to the welfare and governance of people. Government has updated many provisions which were archaic and not current. Revisions are considered to be both workmen and industry friendly.
4. Anticipated adoption of GST ( goods and services tax):
The ongoing session of the Parliament, is expected to pass the bill on GST. A uniform implementation of a tax regime would result in speeding up of movement and transport of goods, reducing costs and avoiding ” red tapes”.
Thus the above are narrative of some recent changes to the Indian Industry scenario, hoping for exciting times ahead of us. Needless to say WRAP would be in the forefront of activities, ever willing to be involved.