Tirupur exporters’ association (TEA), India’s largest readymade garments/knitwear hub, has sought the union government’s permission to allow the opening of sampling units to ensure their survival as well as protect employment of lakhs.
The Tirupur cluster, which generates an annual export business of over Rs 26,000 crore with 1,100 units (mostly small in nature), has an employee strength of over 600,000 people, majorly migrant workers. The cluster is foreseeing a huge business loss due to the lockdown as well some cancellations from overseas buyers. Most of these units have not even received money for the goods exported in January and February.
Buyers from those countries which have not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, have as usual asked the sampling units in Tirupur to send their samples for their spring summer and winter seasons requirements.
At this crucial period of long lockdown due to COVID-19, it is paramount importance for opening of the sampling units with less than 50 workers to prepare sample and also giving permission for the opening of preparatory processing units like knitting, dyeing, compacting, calendaring, which can be operated with phased manner after ensuring social distancing and providing mask, disinfectant among other safety things,” said Raja M Shanmugham, president, TEA.
In his letter to the Prime Minister as well as the union textile minister, Shanmugham said, “While we appreciate three pronged strategies being taken by the union government to simultaneously protect downtrodden people, migrant workers and industries, our apprehension is that any delay in giving permission for commencement of sample preparation in sampling units would lead to a disastrous impact on Tirupur cluster and the cluster will become standstill for another six months that will lead to a loss of employment to the workers in huge numbers.