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Government is aware of constraints of labour laws: Vaghela

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) Union Textiles Minister Shankersinh Vaghela today said his Ministry is aware of the constraints of the labour issues, bottlenecks in infrastructure and high cost of power hampering the growth of the textiles and garment industry making it incompetitive in the global market in the quota free regime.

Addressing a Seminar on Labour Laws for Textiles and germent Industry, Mr Vaghela said India is emerging as one of the major textile sourcing hubs as it has comparative advantages over its competitors on availability of a relatively inexpensive and skilled workforce, design expertise, a large production base of basic raw material like home grown cotton, yarn and fabric and wide range of textiles.

He said his Ministry is in discussions with labour and Finance Ministries and the Prime Minister to settle the issue of labour laws for this sector so that this industry is provided a level playing field vis-a-vis its competitors like China and other countries.

Government will also discuss the issue with Left parties.

While setting the labour laws, the Government is also expected to take care of intersts of the workers. The Ministry has launched a process of discussions with stakeholders so that consensus could be built on the issue.

He said the consensus on the labour reforms required on the issues include flexibility to textile exporting units in hiring of labour subject to assuring a minimum of 100 days employment to cater to variations in demand; raising the weekly work limit to 60 hours with flexible daily hourly requirements; administering flexibility in employment of labourers in a transparent manner with the involvement of both labour and management.

''Specialisation and core competencies of individual supplying companies are once again being looked into seriously. In the era of no quotas, no subsidies but sheer ideas, success will depend on risk taking ability rather than trying to minimise it,'' the Minister said.

With the launch of Textiles Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) it has become imperative to upgrade the skills of the textile workers and the industry should undertake sufficient investment in the Human Resource Development aspect to utilise full benefits of technology upgradation.

Mr Vaghela pointed out that ''the long-term strength of the textile industry lies in a strong base of continuous supply of human resources. This will be possible only when interests of labour and industry are given due care.'' The Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the Government lays emphasis on the need for sustained growth of 7-8 per cent per annum.

It needs hardly any emphasis that Textiles and Garments is an important area where unlocking of the potential would not only raise the contribution of the sector but also increase employment potential.

Textiles export during 2005-06 reached a level of 17 billion US dollars showing a robust growth of 22 per cent over the previous year, the Minister said and added that the targeted level of investment of Rs 1,40,000 crore in this sector by 2010 would be achieved if the growth momentum persists.

The Seminar was organised by the Confederation of Indian Textiles Industry (CITI). CITI's vision statement shows that this industry has the potential to growth from 36 billion dollars in 2002 to 85 billion dollars by 2010.

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