16:15:21 local time CAMBODIA
* Wage law quickly dismissed:
Ruling party lawmakers yesterday rejected an opposition draft law that would have instituted a $250 monthly minimum wage for civil servants and a $150 monthly wage for garment workers, saying the law would have endangered Cambodia’s free-market economy.
The decision came just one day after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced in a speech his own competing plan to increase salaries according to yearly economic growth.
“Based on this proposal, this law doesn’t align with the facts in the Kingdom of Cambodia, because Cambodia has a free-market regime, so putting limits on salary or wages, it is contrary to this condition,” said ruling-party lawmaker Sman Teath, vice chairman of the National Assembly’s finance committee. “Therefore, we cannot limit it.” read more.
* Workers granted three-day off for New Year:
The Ministry of Social Affairs has granted a three-day vacation to workers for the upcoming Cambodian New Year from April 14th to 16th.
Social Affairs Minister, Vong Soth, asked factory owners, enterprises and other institutions on Tuesday to let their workers and staff members to have three days off starting from the 15th to 17th as the 14th lies on a Sunday.
A statement issued by Vong Soth said, in cases in which factories, enterprises and institutions can not let their staff go on a holiday, they have to coordinate subsequent compensation for their employees. read more.
15:00:21 local time NEPAL
* No progress on Nepal govt’s handicraft villages plan:
15:15:21 local time BANGLA DESH
* BGMEA to train 34,000 apparel workers on fire safety:
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association will train 34,000 workers and mid-level officials in the apparel sector on fire safety by June, said Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed.
Ahmed spoke at the United States Trade Representative (USTR) hearing in Washington on Thursday.
A total of 3,500 workers and mid-level managers of different garment factories have already been trained after a deadly fire incident at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia on November 24 last year. read more. & read more.
* TANNERY RELOCATION- Hazaribagh tanners want compensation first:
Owners of tanneries in the city’s Hazaribagh area are reluctant to shift their plants to Savar as the government is yet to pay them the promised relocation compensation.
Tannery owners are ready to relocate their plants to the estate whenever they get the Tk 250-crore compensation promised by the government, Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters’ Association president Haji Belal Hossain told New Age.
Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation has set up a 200-acre tannery estate at Harindhora in Tetuljhora and Hazratpur unions under Savar upazila of Dhaka district furnished with a water treatment plant, gas distribution line, sewerage system, and a electricity substation.
The BSCIC also has allocated all the 155 industrial plots in the estate to tanneries.
But tanners allege the progress in construction of a common effluent treatment plant at the estate is real slow. They also find the estate area insufficient and complain of lack of government cooperation in relocating their tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar. read more.
* Human Rights Watch alerts about Bangladesh tanneries:
Buyers at an international leather fair in Italy should only buy goods from tanneries that comply with health laws and labour rights, said Human Rights Watch on Wednesday.
Such compliance should include respecting both national and international environmental standards, it said, adding that tanneries in Hazaribagh area of Bangladesh capital Dhaka do not meet these criteria.
Over 1,000 exhibitors from more than 40 countries will show new leather products at the three-day Lineapelle leather fair that opened Wednesday in Bologna.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* H&M releases list of RMG supplying factories including those of BD:
H&M, the world’s second-largest global clothing retailer, made the list of all its supplier-factories public. The list including the factories of Bangladesh, aims to contribute to building a more transparent and, ultimately, a more sustainable ‘fashion industry’.
The Sweden-based company is one of the first and the largest companies that has made its suppliers’ list public that include those among EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) countries, Far East and South Asia. read more.
* Owners’ dormitories for RMG workers pay off:
Entrepreneurs in the readymade garment (RMG) sector are providing accommodation facilities now on a greater scale than before, to their workers as part of their efforts to ensure uninterrupted production in their factories.
Industry insiders said a good number of factory owners have already set up dormitories for their workers while some others have started thinking about doing the same, keeping provisions for nominal charges for such accommodation, into consideration. read more.
* Political bandhs upset Bangladesh garment makers:
* Reduced winter demand feared to weigh on apparel exports next financial year:
Winter demand of Bangladesh’s key export item hit hurdles after the apparel industry lobby said continued shutdown and political turmoil resulted in a 50 per cent falloff in orders in the past three months.
For strikes, shutdown, violence among political parties for last three months, RMG export orders targetting the winter season in export destinations like the EU and US has dropped by 50 %, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) research cell. read more.
* One shutdown means Tk 1,600cr losses:
A day of shutdown causes a loss of Tk 1,600 crore to the country’s businesses of all segments — from exports to retail shops, a leading chamber said in a survey yesterday.
The country faces, on average, 40 days of shutdown a year, which means the financial losses stand at Tk 64,000 crore or 6.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
The garment sector takes the hardest blow, counting a Tk 360 crore loss from a one-day shutdown. read more.
14:45:21 local time INDIA
* Textile and garment exports in 2011-12 may have missed $33-billion target:
India’s textile and apparel exports may have missed the $33-billion target in 2011-12 fiscal despite a weak rupee, as demand from biggest market Europe dwindled due to the sovereign debt crisis.
“Textile and garment exports by India may reach $31 billion to $32 billion in 2011-12, falling short of the target by a tad despite a sharp depreciation of the rupee,” Confederation of Indian Textile Industry secretary general DK Nair said. The country shipped out textile products and garments worth $26.8 billion in the 2010-11 fiscal.
* AGP seeks ban on sale of Banarasi silk:
An AGP delegation, headed by former chief minister Prafulla Mahanta, on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to governor J B Patnaik seeking a ban on illegal sale of silk garments from Varanasi and Mysore in the guise of Assam silk in the state.
Earlier, the Kamrup district administration restricted the sale of Banarasi silk garments in the name of Assam silk. The ban in the district came in response to a huge agitation by thousands of weavers from Sualkuchi last week.
“Why is the ban in Kamrup district only? We want it to be implemented across the state. No one should be allowed to sell silk from other states in the name of Assam silk. We want the governor to interfere in the matter,” said Mahanta, after coming out of the meeting at Raj Bhawan. read more.
* ‘Ensure price stability in yarn price’:
Hindu Munnani leader Ramagopalan has called upon the Union Government to constitute a high-level Committee in consultation with the State Governments to ensure fixations of yarn prices for a certain minimum period if the manufacturing prowess of textile clusters like Tirupur had to be safeguarded.
“At present, the frequent wide fluctuations and uncertainty in the prices of yarn are causing hardships to the apparel manufacturers when it comes to quoting the prices of end products to the buyers.
“Because of the swings in prices, the entrepreneurs are in a dilemma as cost of yarn at the time of taking an order might be low only to go up suddenly during the execution of orders. This affects the profit margins considerably,” he said while speaking to reporters near Koduvai on Wednesday.
He reiterated the need to control the cotton exports and said that the Union Government should ensure that domestic needs of cotton were met comfortably before thinking of any export. read more.
* ‘Stop cotton exports’ :
The South India Hosiery Manufacturers Association (SIHMA) has asked the Union Government to withhold the export of cotton and release it for internal consumption so as to control the fluctuations in the prices of cotton and yarn.
In a memorandum to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, association president A. C. Eswaran said already 80 lakh bales of cotton had been exported during the current cotton year (October 1, 2012, to September 31, 2013).
“Looking at the current stock across the country, only 90 lakh bales are available for the rest of the season. Of this, the Cotton Corporation of India is holding 25 lakh bales, another 25 lakh bales is in the possession of cotton exporters, and the lion’s share of the remaining 40 lakh bales is with private cotton traders,” he said.
14:45:21 local time SRI LANKA
* Footwear industry to be developed:
The Industrial Development Board (IDB) of Sri Lanka has taken measures to develop the country’s Leather and Footwear Industry to cut down on leather and footwear imports, IDB Chairman Udaya Kariyawasam said.
Addressing the media yesterday at the Information Department, the chairman said the government has identified the leather and footwear industry as a thrust industry. So it is important to increase the leather and footwear production and at the same time it is important to promote leather products among Sri Lankans. The IBD has recognized some important areas which should be developed to compete with the international market. read more.
14:15:21 local time PAKISTAN
* Millers allowed to import cotton despite sufficient stock:
At least 6,93,191 bales are lying in the cotton ginning factories in unsold stock, on the other hand the government has allowed textile millers to import cotton from different countries. Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has released the cotton arrival figures on April 3 to show the cotton arrival till April I, 2013.
The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) in a fortnightly report showed that around 12.888 million cotton bales were sourced to the country’s ginners by April 1, 2013, which shows a decrease of 12.15 percent than last year. PCGA chairman Mahesh Kumar briefed journalists about seed-cotton (phutti) arrivals, sales and unsold stock of cotton.
He said that 1,18,51,234 cotton bales were sold to the textile units and exporters bought 3,43,630 bales. Thus, overall 1,21,94,837 bales were traded so far. He said that PCGA was expecting fewer crops which might touch the figures of 130 million bales. Kumar said that a total of 54 out of 1200 ginning factories are operational in Sindh and Punjab. read more.
* Cotton production: government urged to convene all stakeholders’ meeting:
Chairman of ginners group Haji Muhammad Akram and ex-vice chairman of PCGA Shehzad Ali Khan have urged upon the government to immediately convene a meeting of all stakeholders of cotton products to find the causes of low production and cultivation of cotton on less area.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday they said that Pakistan should increase its cotton production to 15 million to earn maximum foreign exchange.
They said that 12.5 percent decrease in cotton production was an eye opener to the agricultural scientists, researchers. Haji Akram suggested that the government should give incentive to the farmers and should adopt a mechanism to protect the interest of farmers. He has alleged that cotton growers this year suffered a collective loss of Rs 180 billion as they got an average of Rs 1950 per maund for their produce instead of Rs 3119 per maund suggested by the Punjab government as support price for cotton for this year. read more.
* Traders oppose 2pc exports tax:
Trade and Industry leaders on Wednesday opposed imposition of two percent tax on exports and called for early withdrawal of SRO 154(I) 2013. The leaders of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA), Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), Anjuman-e-Tajran Pakistan and other trade and industry associations met here under the Chairmanship of LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar and protested against the issuance of anti-business SROs.
Prominent among the participants were Central Chairman of PHMA Javaid Bilwani, Chairman PTA Agha Saidain, LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, Chairman PHMA Adil Butt, LCCI former President Sheikh Muhammad Asif, former Senior Vice President Mlaik Tahir Javed and Executive Committee Members. During the meeting, the participants also decided to hold meeting with caretaker Prime Minister against the imposition of two percent value added tax on all the five zero-rated sectors.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Yarn traders oppose new sales tax regime:
Even after bowing to the pressure of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to deposit tax for supplies made to the registered persons, Faisalabad yarn industry still fears maltreatment under new sales tax regime.
Industry people point out that they made supplies only to the sales tax registered persons duly declared valid on the FBR website. That they later turned out fake was not the fault of the industry, they added.
“The actual culprits are the FBR officials who ignored the law during the registration, which stressed on verification of documents and business premises. While we were threatened with the lodging of First Information Report for no fault of ours, the officials who registered those entities still remain accountable,” said an affected miller.