The knitwear units in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur (known as the Knitwear Capital of India) have the potential to emerge as the global capital of casual dress manufacturing if Government of India comes forward to help the entrepreneurs facing liquidity problems caused by the pandemic, according to a leading industrialist.

“As on today, the knitwear industry in Tirupur directly employs six lakh workers. The pandemic and its impact have opened new vistas to the industry with which we can additionally employ three lakh workers in the next three years if the Government of India listens to our pleas and help us by offering a few crores as loans,” Raja M Shanmugham, an industrialist and president of Tirupur Exporters’ Association, told The Pioneer. He said the TEA has written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman highlighting the challenges and pleading for the extension of Emergency  Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) 3.0 to the sector.  

S Sakthivel, executive secretary, TEA, said that there was huge demand for Tirupur products from USA and Europe. “But the work force is moving out following the lockdown and the possibilities of it getting extended further,” said Sakthivel. World all over the demand for casual wears is on the rise and this is the moment Tirupur was waiting for, he said.  

“The Centre has helped us by sanctioning as financial packages to tide over the crisis caused by the lock down of 2020. But now the Tamil Nadu Government has declared total lock down taking into account the increasing number of persons afflicted with Covid-19. On Wednesday, Coimbatore had 4,268 new patients while Tirupur had 1,880 new cases. The Chief Minister has said that he was not satisfied with the way things were moving and chances of the extension of lockdown cannot be ruled out,” said Shanmugham.

He said that the Union Government should come forward to extend the ECLGS  announced along with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Scheme to the knitwear industry also. “The scheme was meant to help specified sectors like tourism and hospitality to tide over the liquidity crisis. The Centre should take into account the labour intensive  Ready Made Garment Sector and  extend the additional liquidity support of 20 per cent so  as  to quickly revive  the MSMEs  in RMG sector  to save the industry and simultaneously protect the labour sector,” pleaded Shanmugham.

He pointed out that though the pandemic has caused havoc across the world , it has also opened a window of opportunities for the  casual   wear manufacturing  segment  (mostly  carried  out  in  Tirupur  like  cluster)  of  Ready Made Garment Sector.  “The work from home culture has become a new trend and this is sure to energize the garment  business.  Due to this there is a lot of demand   for casual-wear products like T shirts, trousers and track suits.  Moreover we wish to emphasis that the Ready Made Garment Sector creates more jobs equivalent to or better than agriculture  in  our  country.  Considering  this  crucial  importance,  the  Ready Made Garment Sector should be protected effectively to revive the  country’s economy,” he said.

There is a ray of hope in the eyes of Shanmugham and other entrepreneurs like him about the future of Tirupur and its knitwear potential. It is for finance  minister Nirmala Sitaraman to act now, they feel.

Published On : 28-05-2021

Source : The Pioneer

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