The pace at which COVID-19 is spreading is causing fear in every industry and Indian apparel industry is no exception.
The apparel sector is struggling to survive and desperately looking at the Government of India for a special package. Nearly all trade bodies and export promotion councils across the supply chain have put forward their demands and suggestions to the Government.
The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) has been following up with both, the Central and State Governments to provide relief to the apparel industry. And now NIFTA, alumni of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), have proposed an action plan to handle fall-out of COVID-2019.
NIFTA is a prestigious organisation that has members across the textile and apparel industry on senior levels.
Shared with various ministries including Ministry of Textiles (MOT), this detailed 3-phase process provides various suggestions keeping in view the entire industry and terms like immediate (within April 2020) up to 6 months, mid-term (6-12 months) and longer-term.
Right from ameliorating the cash crunch that will affect the entire chain to stabilising the industry and building a demand stimulus, this action plan focuses on establishing strong competencies to be a globally competitive and a vertically integrated industry.
In addition to the already raised industry demands, NIFTA suggests emergency relief fund for apparels, accessories, made-ups and handicraft sectors so that wages are paid by manufacturing units and design workshops during the lockdown period.
It also suggests to exempt of all raw materials, dyes and chemicals, intermediaries, spares, accessories, etc. from anti-dumping duty and basic customs duty, to help bring down the input cost and establish a competitive position for India, both for domestic sourcing and for exports.
In changing scenario and buying, sourcing trends, NIFTA proposes to structure ‘Design-Tex India’, an initiative crafted on the lines of the ‘Festival of India’ to be organised across the world as a window to India’s 21st-century design, development, manufacturing, branding and retail capabilities, and to become one comprehensive platform for Indian textile and fashion business.
“We look forward to working with the Government of India to ensure that the industry not only survives this unprecedented Black Swan event but also comes out stronger on the other side,” NIFTA said in its letter.