Garment Industry starts feeling the pinch

Coimbatore, Feb 24 (PTI): The Rs 15,000 crore garmentindustry,particularly exporters in nearby Tirupur have startedfeeling the pinch due to closure of nearly 700 dyeing andbleaching units following a Madras High Court order,as stocksof dyed fabrics to manufacture garments for meeting deadlineshave dried up.

Since most manufacturers had held enough stocks, when theCourt ordered closure of dyeing units for failing to complywith pollution norms, polluting Noyyal river, they are nowproducing the garments, fulfillying the export orders andmaintaining the delivery schedule, industry sources said.

Manufacturers have started sending the fabrics for dyeingto Kolkatta, Surat, Ahmedabad and Ludhiana,which however wouldbe expected back only after 15 days due to their pre-occupancyto cater to demand of local and permanent customers,they said.

Some manufacturers have sought help from dyers at nearbyErode and Bhavani, who were mainly doing it for weavers. Butthere also delivery is tight and delayed, despite doubling ofcharges from Rs 65 to Rs.130 per kg, the sources said.

By this, a manufacturer incurs a loss of Rs 15 per garmentpiece, production cost of which if calculated was not breakeven, negatively hitting profit margins, they claimed.

Claiming that a lot of export enquiries were coming in dueto a boom in the industry, they said large number of exporterswere apprehensive of taking orders due to the uncertainty andalso whether they would be able to meet delivery schedules orprovide quality garments as processing is not comparativelyperfect.

If rejected, due to possible patches on the finishedproducts, it would be again loss to them, the sources said.

Small exporters, with a turnover of Rs one crore to Rsfive crore, have already stopped production for fear of losingcustomers, in view of the delay and are seeking extended timeto deliver finished goods.

The industry, doing an average of Rs 40 crore worthproduction daily, has started seeing a decline in production.

Moreover, the sudden hike of rs.15 per kg of yarn last eveningalso put garment manufacturers in a dilemma, which theyclaimed was the ''last straw,'' the sources said.

Meanwhile, dyers have petitioned the Madras High Courtseeking nine more months to comply with the pollution norms.

They have stated that the manuacturer of Evaporators inEffluent Treatment Plants had reportedly admitted that therewas some technical snag for getting zero discharge, whichwould be rectified during this period.

They requested time and ensured to discharge 2100 TDS, asper TNPCB norms, till then. About rs.200 crore had beeninvested in 17 Common Effluent treatment plants coveringabout 450 dyeing units, the sources said.

Captains of industry, both knitwear exporters and hosierymanufacturers catering to the domestic market refused to speakon the issue, merely saying they want a permanent solution,since they are incurring huge losses and the country is losingforeign exchange.

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