20:20:37 local time CHINA
* Quality issues with children’s wears, toys:
A head of the Children’s Day on June 1, the city’s quality watchdog has issued warnings regarding the design of drawstring and cord of children’s clothing which can cause suffocation and on plasticizer in children’s toys.
A total of 59 batches of children’s clothing out of 62 had problems in the design of drawstring and cord, the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau said yesterday, which has started to issue regular quality warnings for the first time.
Four children’s toys among the 30 which were tested were found to contain excessive plasticizer.
Problematic drawstring design and the cord in children’s garment can harm children when they are walking or playing games, said Shen Weimin, deputy director of the bureau.
There is currently no compulsory standard on the drawstring and cord, and the results were based on recommended standard. Officials said parents should take the cord and drawstring off the clothes.
20:20:37 local time PHILIPPINES
* Contractualization (1):
‘Companies make billions in net profit. Contractuals who are creating all those billions for those companies can’t afford to buy food.’
The practice of using agency contractual labor is illegal, according to provisions of Philippine labor laws. Employers, local and transnational, have gotten away defying Philippine labor laws.
The Department of Labor has neither clout nor guts to address this crime. Capital makes billions each quarter. Contractuals who are creating all those billions of net profit live below subsistence level.
A study by the International Labor Organization found that the rate of “contractualization” is now at 70 percent of the Philippine workforce. Almost every large company depends on contractuals to get the day’s business done. Federation of Philippine Industry (FPI) fights this exploitation by wealthy companies hiring employees on a contractual basis.
* Contractualization (2) :
‘ Capital keeps billions in net profit. Contractuals who are creating all those billions for capital don’t have enough to eat.’
For anyone wondering what other government-mandated benefits contractual agencies will not give their contractuals, you are free, as I was to talk with cashiers at chain supermarkets, sales staff selling computers in malls, restaurant waitpersons, etc. They all are aware of what they are not getting.
Check with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) employment benefits which contractual agencies do not give these daily minimum wagers who help earn billions for corporations.
Most of the following are what the contractual workers are NOT getting: Retirement; Security of employment—a cycle of anything from 59 days to five months as a temporary; fired and rehired.
Disability payment which is dependent upon the degree and seriousness of the disability. The minimum monthly allowance is 40 percent of the Average Monthly Salary (AMS), whichever is higher. Additionally, for disability of permanent employees, a monthly stipend is provided for medical supplies.
19:20:37 local time VIET NAM
* FTA opens doors for garment industry in Vietnam:
EU market was the second largest consumer of garments and textiles from Vietnam, after the US market, but the ongoing debt crisis in Europe has caused a slump in this industry, with Japan now replacing it as the second largest importer.
The US, EU, and Japan markets have been key markets of Vietnam’s garment and textile industry for several years with the US as the largest importer, EU market following next and Japan at third place. In 2011, Vietnam’s garment and textile industry saw growth in South Korean market with garment and textile exports to this country exceeding US$1 billion, making it the fourth largest importer.
* Vietnam garment exports rise 16.7% to $6.39bln in jan-may: GSO:
Vietnam is estimated to have earned $6.39 billion from exporting garment and textile products in the first five months of this year, up 16.7% from a year earlier, said the government’s General Statistics Office (GSO).
The country fetched $1.4 billion from shipping these products abroad in May, compared to the revised figure of $1.24 billion in April, the office noted.
During the five-month period, the garment and textile sector remains the country’s second largest foreign currency earner for taking up 12.8% of the total national exports.
19:20:37 local time LAOS
* Laos moves to reform labour laws:
Experts in Laos are revising the country’s Labour Law to conform to international standards and meet the requirements of the international treaties to which Laos is a party.
Experts from line ministries, the Federation of Trade Unions, the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) gathered in Vientiane yesterday for three days of discussions on drafting amendments to the law.
19:20:37 local time CAMBODIA
* Thousands keep up protest at Cambodian garment factory:
About 3,500 workers protested on Wednesday at a factory in Cambodia that makes clothing for U.S. sportswear company Nike, refusing to give up their campaign for higher pay despite a crackdown by police this week.
At least 23 people were injured on Monday when police with riot gear and stun batons were deployed to disperse about 3,000 workers, most of them women, who had blocked a road outside the factory owned by Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital, Phnom Penh.
* Is Cambodia’s violent garment strike the beginning of the end for cheap clothing? :
A protest at a Cambodia factory making Nike clothing ended on Monday with at least 23 worker injuries, including a miscarriage, after riot police moved in. Around two thirds of the factory’s 5,000 workers had been on strike, asking for $14 in additional pay to assist with transport and healthcare, on top of their monthly wage of $74.
With Bangladesh’s garment industry in disarray following the Rana Plaza building collapse, Cambodia should be well positioned to win new business in the ultra-low-cost labor market. But it’s having troubles of its own, including two recent structural collapses resulted in the deaths of three people at a shoe plant and 23 injuries at a factory making clothes for retailer H&M.
read & see more.
* Workers not underage, factory says:
A Ying Dong Shoes representative yesterday denied claims his factory employs workers as young as 13 and shares an owner with Wing Star Shoes, where two died in a ceiling collapse on May 16.
Chan Kosal, a representative of Ying Dong, a supplier to Asics, said the factory employed only workers 18 or over.
“They must have a citizen ID and a family book, as well as a clarification letter from commune authorities,” he said.
The Post reported this week that workers at the factory in Phnom Penh had claimed it employed girls as young as 13. Workers must be at least 15 and those under 18 given modified tasks. Kosal, a representative of Ying Dong, Wing Star in Kampong Speu and New Star in Preah Sihanouk, said the factories were not owned by the same person.
* Nike-contracted factory closed in Cambodia:
The Nike-contracted factory in Cambodia where workers clashed with police earlier this week was closed on Wednesday “out of concern for worker safety due to additional protests planned,” Nike said in a statement.
That news was included in the statement the Oregon sports equipment company issued about Monday’s violent confrontation.
News accounts said at least 23 workers were hurt when police in riot gear, using stun batons, ended the protest over pay at the Nike-contracted factory. Most of the 3,000 protesters blocking a road outside the factory were women.
Reuters reported that one of the women who confronted police was pregnant.
20:20:37 local time INDONESIA
* Indonesia’s factories reeling from minimum wage hikes:
Workers sewing clothes in a factory in Jakarta earlier this month, where the minimum wage now stands at 2.2 million rupiah (S$286) a month. Unusually high minimum wage rises in many Indonesian provinces are increasingly being seen as the result of militant union action. — PHOTO: REUTERS
CAN Indonesia’s labour- intensive industries survive recent hikes in the minimum wage?
Talk to Indonesian businessmen involved in such industries these days and you are likely to be told that many such factories may soon have to close.
“I was optimistic about the future of the footwear industry until the advent of labour activism and the decision of the (local) government to increase the minimum wage,” advisory board member Anton Supit of the Indonesian Footwear Association told me in Jakarta earlier this year.
18:05:37 local time NEPAL
* Minimum salary hiked:
Employers and employees have agreed to hike the basic salary by 43.66 per cent and dearness allowance by 9.44 per cent making it a total hike of 29 per cent in minimum salary.
The minimum salary will be Rs 8,000 and daily wage will be Rs 318 from current Rs 6,200 and Rs 231, according to president of General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions Bishnu Rimal.
The basic salary will be increased to Rs 5,100 from current Rs 3,550 and dearness allowance to Rs 2,900 from Rs 2,650, making it a total of Rs 8,000 salary from the current salary of Rs 6,200, he said, adding that the daily wage has been increased by 37.66 per cent to Rs 318 from the current Rs 231.
Though some trade unions have been asking for Rs 12,500 — double the current salary of Rs 6,200 — and others have been asking for Rs 15,000 minimum salary, claiming that it is insufficient to survive in towns and its suburbs with the present salary and wage structure, the tripartite meeting — including government, employers and employees — yesterday agreed on the said hike.
18:20:37 local time BANGLADESH
* 10-15 injured in RMG workers-cop clash in city:
At least ten people were injured in a clash between the workers of readymade garment (RMG) and police at Shewrapara in Kafrul thana of the capital on Wednesday.
Police and witnesses said a meeting on wage-hike was scheduled between the workers and the authorities of MM Shirt Garment at its factory today (Wednesday).
But, when the workers came to their workplace at about 8 am, they found the gate of the factory closed. Angered by this, the workers blocked Shewrapara road, disrupting vehicular movement.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* 107-118 RMG workers sacked in Ashulia:
The authority of IDS Fashion garment on Wednesday has terminated 107 workers for their alleged involvement in vandalism, looting and assaulting.
Garment authority said the workers were sacked for their involvement in vandalism, looting and assaulting during protest demanding pay increase.
After knowing the matter, the workers went berserk and blockaded Baipail-Abdullahpur road and hurled brick chips aiming police.
read more. & read more.
* Production in 10 RMG units suspended over labour unrest:
The on-going workers’ protest over better wages caused production suspension in 10 apparel factories in city’s Shewrapara area at Mirpur on Wednesday.
Police and eye-witnesses said the trouble erupted at about 8:30am after workers of three units — Shanin Ltd, MM Dresses Ltd and MM Shirt — found notices stating that the factories would remain closed for two days.
The workers being infuriated by the shutdown took to the street and blockaded Begum Rokeya Sarani that links the apparel industrial hub with the capital’s commercial district, Motijheel.
read more. & read more.
* RMG workers clash with police in city for pay hike:
Two female apparel workers sustained injury as they were hit by rubber bullets on Wednesday when police tied to disperse agitating workers and clear road blockade at Shewrapara in the city’s Mirpur area.
The workers were agitating to press for pay hike and other financial benefits, workers and witnesses said.
Several thousand workers from nine garment factories came down to Begum Rokeya Sarani and began demonstration at about 8am on the day.
* A life=Tk 1 lakh ($1,250):
In theory, human life is priceless. But under Bangladesh’s labour law, a worker’s life is worth just Tk 1 lakh ($1,250).
In a country where industrial deaths and injuries are high, the labour law should have stringent provisions to oblige owners to adequately support workers and their families in case of workplace accidents, rights activists and labour leaders say.
They note that stricter laws will discourage owners from violating safety codes and putting workers’ lives at risk to minimise costs.
At present, however, compensation provisions in the country are among the worst in the world.
In China, Bangladesh’s main competitor in the garments sector, the compensation, including a one-time package, funeral benefits and monthly instalments, is about Tk 78 lakh, according to China Labour Bulletin.
“In a country where a worker’s life is worth only Tk 1 lakh, is it a surprise that the death toll [in industrial accidents] is so high?” asks labour leader Nazma Akhtar.
The recently proposed amendment to the labour law leaves the old provisions untouched, setting a maximum Tk 1 lakh in compensation for accidental deaths and Tk 1.25 lakh for those disabled for life.
* Labour Law amendment goes against intl labour standards:
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), a global association of trade unions, considers the proposed amendment to the Labour Law as not being in compliance with the International Labour Standards (ILS).
With this action, the government is missing the opportunity to ensure the workers’ rights truly after the Rana plaza tragic incident, it observes.
“The world wants to see the government’s sincerity in the reform of the Labour Law on urgent basis for true labour rights,” said the ITUC Deputy General Secretary (DGS) Wellington Chibebe in an interview with the FE.
Prior to leaving Bangladesh after a short visit on Tuesday, the ITUC leader expressed the association’s concern at the proposed amendment to the Labour Law and said the recent tragic incidents in the ready-made garment industries of Bangladesh had created opportunities for the government to improve the working condition and workers’ safety and enhance industrial relationship.
* Trade union holds key to labour rights:
Trade union is a must to ensure labour rights and improve working conditions at garment factories, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.
They also stressed an in-depth study on the garment industry to get a clear picture of salary structure and lifestyles of workers, value addition of products, and profit and costing issues.
Trade union is also important to build up confidence and deepen the relationship between the owners and the workers, the discussants said.
Though trade unions are allowed in the sector, workers cannot practise the right due to legal complexities, the speakers said.
They also urged the government to ease the procedure of forming trade unions.
They spoke at the roundtable on the garment industry and the national budget co-organised by Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the daily Prothom Alo at the newspaper’s office in Dhaka.
“It is often believed that trade unions would create problems or hamper work environment. But this is not true,” Industries Minister Dilip Barua said.
He urged the owners to set a uniform rate for their exportable items.
“There are allegations that many owners bring work orders from international buyers at very low prices.”
He also called upon the opposition parties to keep the garment sector out of the purview of shutdowns.
* EU urges BD to update labour laws thru’ JS to retain GSP:
The European Union (EU) has urged Bangladesh to update its existing labour laws through parliamentary amendments for retaining the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facility enjoyed by the country, officials in Dhaka said Wednesday.
The call was made when Foreign Minister Dipu Moni discussed the recent resolution of the European Parliament (EP) with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht in Brussels Tuesday, said a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
The meeting was held on May 4, amid an outcry in the industry following the deadliest Rana Plaza collapse at Savar on April 24, which killed 1,127 workers and maimed scores.
* Loblaw to remain in Bangladesh:
Canadian Loblaw Cos. Ltd. further outlined plans Tuesday to create better protections for garment workers in Bangladesh, as well as reaffirm a company commitment to remain in the country, a Canadian television network reported.
“Our approach is a combination of actions specific to Loblaw and some related to our participation in broader initiatives,” Global Television Network quoted Robert Chant, senior vice-president of corporate affairs at the country’s largest food retailer, as saying.
Chant was appearing before parliamentary standing committee in Ottawa, which heard from Loblaw among other retailers in the wake of the collapse of nine-story Rana Plaza last month that killed over 1,100 textile workers.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Stay in Bangladesh, BGMEA urges Int’l retailers:
Garment makers on Wednesday urged international retailers to stay in Bangladesh as the latter take measures to improve safety and workplace standard.
“We want continuation with our international retailers. It is not good, if any brand says it will leave Bangladesh,” Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said after a meeting with visiting US Congressman George Miller at the trade body office in the capital.
The government and the garment makers are now working for introducing trade union at the factories, he said.
“We are also working to ensure better working conditions at the factories,” he said.
* Exporters call brands to pay right RMG price:
Garment exporters on Wednesday urged the importer brands not to leave Bangladesh and to pay the right prices for garment items for the betterment of the workers.
At a meeting with the US congressman George Miller at Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association office in the capital the BGMEA leaders said it was very unfortunate that after the recent accidents in the RMG factories some buyers threatened to go away from Bangladesh.
‘We told the congressman that The BGMEA requested them not to leave Bangladesh and said we want to work together to ensure risk-free factory and to increase the living standard of the workers,’ BGMEA president Md Atiqul Islam said.
He said the US congressman had discussed on the health and occupational safety, risk-free factory and trade union rights.
* Miller assures BD apparel makers of pursuing buyers:
The visiting US Congressman George Miller assured local apparel makers Wednesday of pursuing his country’s buyers to continue their business with Bangladesh.
His assurance came at a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at its headquarters in the city.
“We want continuation with the global retailers. It is not a good message if any buyer says that it will leave us,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said after the meeting.
The US Congressman has expressed his willingness that he will raise the issue and hold talks with the US buyers as the US government also wants to work together, he said.
read more. & read BD RMG on right track: Miller . & read more. & read more.
* Retailers’ dilemma: To axe or help fix bad factories:
When seemingly preventable disasters strike factories in developing countries, many retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. react the same way: by pulling their orders or threatening to cut off factories that don’t meet their safety standards.
By contrast, H&M — the biggest buyer of clothing from Bangladesh’s $20 billion garment industry — has taken a highly public role in pledging to work with factories to improve their standards.
After a series of deadly factory fires in Bangladesh and last month’s factory collapse, which killed more than 1,100 people, Wal-Mart has publicly blacklisted about 250 Bangladeshi suppliers found to have safety problems.
Walt Disney Co. told its licensees in March that they could no longer produce Disney-branded goods in Bangladesh after boxes of Disney sweatshirts, bound for Wal-Mart, were found at the site of a major factory fire in December. Wal-Mart said it didn’t know its goods were being produced at the plant, which wasn’t authorised to make them.
* Speaker seeks Swedish support for improving workplace safety:
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury on Wednesday sought support from Sweden for improving safety and workplace conditions for women workers in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry.
She said Bangladesh’s RMG industry is a remarkable sector which has been playing a very important role in empowering women, economically in particular.
“The majority of the country’s working women is engaged in this sector,” Dr Shirin said requesting Swedish envoy in Dhaka Anneli Lindahl Kenny to help Bangladesh improve safety and workplace environment.
She made the request during a meeting with the Swedish envoy at her Parliament office, said a PID handout.
The Speaker said the women in Bangladesh are conscious enough and they will not support any activity that will hinder their own development.
read more. & read more.
* Protecting RMG supply chain:
Despite the reported divide among global retailers to support workplace improvements in garment factories, it is heartening to see that some thirty seven (or more) apparel brands and retailers have expressed their readiness to team up under a binding legal framework to work for the cause.
This is the kind of move that should have been in place long before – say, two decades back- when the country was in its take-off in a big way to emerge as a major apparel manufacturer to reckon with.
The fact underlying such a move is not dishing out huge sums of money into charity, but a professional obligation of the retailers to take care of their supply chain. The starker fact is that without the latter the former does not exist.
The reason why this did not happen so long is simply because neither the buyers nor the exporters bothered to take on issues beyond what essentially charaterises the sole inspiring motive in doing business – profit making.
To put it a bit differently, the retailers aware of the hazards of having their merchandise produced at the cheapest of costs in one of the poorest of the countries barely spared anything for the manufacturers to invest in workplace conditions, reasonable wages for the workers and so on.
The question quite pertinent here is: could a better profit margin induce the factory owners to part with a bit for workplace improvement and wage-hike to a reasonable level?
The answer remains very uncertain, as profit earned at whatever cost is the owner’s exclusive domain — so it has proved not only in this country but in most places in the underdeveloped world where laws are weak and governments indifferent to issues like worker’s welfare and safety.
Recent media reports say a total of 37 apparel brands and retailers — 35 European, one US and one Chinese — have committed to sign a deal aiming at establishing a fire and building safety programme in Bangladesh for a period of five years. Draft terms of reference of the mechanism under which the work programme would be launched has also been chalked out, which understandably will need to be revisited while actually going for the arduous task.
The decision has received wide acclaim both at home and abroad.
THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE
* Govt reports 379 workers missing:
The chief inspector of factories and establishment has submitted to the High Court a list of 379 missing workers after the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar that housed five clothing factories.
Dhaka deputy commissioner, however, submitted a list of missing 376 workers.
The deputy commissioner, Shaikh Yusuf Harun, told New Age on Wednesday that they reported missing of 376 workers as of May 20 when the list was submitted to the High Court.
DC Harun said that a total of 291 unidentified bodies of Rana Plaza workers were buried after collecting their DNA sampling, and 10 other bodies, which were taken away by different individuals by mistake, and were also buried in different places.
* PM to receive cheques for Savar victims tomorrow (Thursday):
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would receive cheques for donation for the Savar building collapse victims tomorrow.
“Sheikh Hasina would receive cheques from the organizations and the people interested in donating money to “The PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund” for the ill-fated families of the Savar tragedy at 10.30 am at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Tejgaon,” PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said.
ASHULIA TAZREEN GARMENT FACTORY FIRE:
* Victim’s brother sues Tazreen owner, 30 others:
The family of one of the victims of fire at Tazreen Fashions sued the owner of the garment factory and 30 others on Wednesday for the deadly fire.
Complainant Abdul Matin is the brother of Rehena Begum who used to work as a packer at finishing section of the factory as the November 24 fire swept through the building at Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital, leaving 112 workers dead and 12 others missing.
Rehena is still missing.
In the case filed with the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court of Dhaka, the complainant blamed Tazreen owner Delwar Hossain and 30 others unnamed ones for setting fire to the factory.
The unnamed 30 include people involved in running the factory and some others of the garments owners’ association for the deadly fire.
read more. & read more.
17:50:37 local time INDIA
* Aruna Roy upset over minimum wages issue:
How a country like India can deny payment of minimum wages, she asks
For the second time since it was created, rights activist Aruna Roy has resigned from the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC), this time criticising the government for not accepting the council’s recommendations on minimum wages to workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), even as she thanked the council’s chairperson for the freedom she was given to express views.
In the UPA’s first term, too, Ms. Roy quit the NAC in 2006, expressing her unhappiness at the government moving away from the Common Minimum Programme, whose implementation the council was meant to oversee. But she returned to the NAC in the UPA’s second term in 2010.
* Industries moving away from Rajasthan: Nirmala Sitaraman:
The BJP on Wednesday came down heavily on chief minister Ashok Gehlot accusing him of running away from giving answers and misleading the people with fake assurances of development.
“It is ironical that the chief minister is mocking at former chief minister (Vasundhara Raje) and not taking seriously the issues raised by Raje in the ongoing Suraaj Sankalp Yatra,” said Nirmala Sitaraman, national spokesperson of the party. While interacting with media persons at party headquarters on Wednesday, Sitaraman said that not only had the chief minister disregarded the questions raised by Raje as ‘informal chat’ but also mislead people by making tall claims.
“Textile industry, the backbone of the industry in Rajasthan, is migrating to Gujarat and Maharashtra and Bhilwara Textile Trade Federation has issued a list of 35 textile industries which have either migrated from Rajasthan due to wrong policies of the state or have gone defunct,” she claimed.
* No design to bail out distressed weavers:
Banarasi silk fabric woven on handloom fascinates one and all but it failed to fill colours in the lives of poor weavers known for their mastery over the art.
The plight of weavers could be undersood with the fact that malnutrition recently claimed three lives of weavers’ children – two of a family in Bajardiha area and one in Lohta area.
Earlier, two acutely malnourished children had also died in Lohta area in 2008. Both the areas are dominated by weavers belonging to the minority community.
And on both the occasions, the district administration swung into action after the malnutrition deaths with promises to end the miseries weavers. The district magistrate and other officials visited Lohta area and met the bereaved family.
He said that a camp would be held in Lohta area on May 30 to address weavers’ problems.
* Monsoon holds the key to cotton acreage this year:
The cotton industry is divided over cotton plantings this year but it is unanimous in its view that monsoon will have a final say over the sowing pattern.
“Planting intentions of growers look normal at around 110 lakh hectares. But the question is whether the acreage will be maintained. Only timely monsoon will ensure that,” said A. Ramani, a cotton trade analyst.
The problem with areas under cotton, especially in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, is that they have been going through a prolonged dry period.
“Pre-monsoon rainfall in these areas has been poor,” said Ramani.
* Spinning mill modernisation phase I over:
The first phase of the modernisation of the Cannanore Co-operative Spinning Mills Ltd. (CCSML) has been completed, paving the way for the commencement of work on the second phase as part of a project for renovation of the textile sector.
In the first phase, the preparatory wing of the mill had been modernised as part of the renovation project sanctioned by the State government with financial assistance through the National Co-operative Development Corporation (NCDC) to introduce the latest technology and state-of-the-art machinery for improving the production, CCSML chairman Najeem Palakkandy and managing director M.C. Suresh Kumar said.
In the second phase, spinning and post-spinning departments of the mill would be modernised, they added.
* Extended interest subvention to aid textiles exports: FIEO:
Mr. M Rafeeque Ahmed, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) while commenting on the expansion in the interest-subvention scheme including 6 tariff lines for textiles including made-ups and 101 tariff lines in case of engineering goods besides the 134 lines that were included in January 2013 stated that this would provide some leeway to the MSME export sector who are impacted by the recessionary conditions in the global markets affecting exports of Engineering and Textiles, both of which declined by about 4% in last fiscal.
FIEO Chief stated that the six tariff lines for textiles included: Blankets and Travelling Rugs ; Bed Linen, Table Linen, Kitchen Linen ; Curtains Including Drapes) And Blinds ; Sacks And Bags, Awnings And Sunblinds; Other Made Up Articles etc .
* In need of a silk revolution:
Assam needs to increase the output of its own silk yarns in order to save it from the onslaught of cheap import varieties
Sericulture and weaving always have been traditional pursuits for the rural Assamese people, supplementing their agricultural incomes as well as fulfilling their personal requirements of cloth.
Environmentally, Assam is the only place in the world suitable for producing all the four varieties of natural silks — eri, muga, mulberry and tussar. Despite these distinct advantages of having a traditional cottage industry, eco-friendly climate for producing raw silks and availability of skilled man-power, the indigenous silk industry and its niche product for centuries ‘Assam silk’ is today struggling to survive.
Ostensibly the problem seems to be market oriented where the demand for Assam silk is diminishing because it is costlier in comparison to the silks from outside the State, particularly Benares. But this is misleading because cost wise there is not much difference in the prices of the fabrics produced in any of the noted silk manufacturing centers of the country including Sualkuchi when the fabrics are woven out of natural silk yarns.
17:50:37 local time SRI LANKA
* Sri Lanka and China to negotiate free trade deal, expressway funding:
Sri Lanka and China will negotiate a free trade deal and Chinese support has been pledged for a planned expressway to the north of the island following a state visit by President Rajapaksa to Beijing.
During bilateral meetings, agreement had been reached to set up two committees that will work towards a free trade deal the presidents media office said. A target to attract 100,000 Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka has been set.
“This would give Sri Lankan products such as apparel, gems and jewelry, tea and rubber wider access in the Chinese market,” the statement said.
* Rs. 7 million robbed from Polytext Garments:
An amount of Rs. 7 million, which was being taken to the Polytext Garments in Ja-ela in order to pay wages of the factory workers, have been robbed at Ja-ela.
An armed group that came in a white van has robbed the money at 1 pm today (28), reported the Police Media Unit.
The suspects have fled and the police have commenced investigations to arrest them.
17:20:37 local time PAKISTAN
* Ministry of Textile should be rolled back: PBEA:
Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association (PBEA) has suggested that the ‘Ministry of Textile Industry’ should be rolled back immediately and the nominal task assigned to it is reverted to the Ministry of Commerce.
In a statement to the press issued on Wednesday, Shabir Ahmed, former Chairman, PBEA said that several other elephantine ministries, which were created for political exigencies should also be wrapped up as a first step towards good governance by the incoming PML (N) government.
Ministry of Textile Industry was doomed to be a non-performing small unit without any authority or influence in the government. Its creation, like the creation of a number of other such ministries and divisions, was to meet political ends rather than pursue economic or even trade needs. All through its existence, it has remained a slot for accommodating some blue-eyed politician and parking place for unwanted federal secretaries, as witnessed by the history of this so-called ministry.
* Textile industry: unannounced power loadshedding ends:
Unannounced load shedding of electricity has come to an end in the textile industry, said the industry sources.
The uninterrupted power supply has been restored to the industry with six hours a day announced load shedding, according to the sources. It may be noted that the textile workers, especially in Faisalabad, were protesting on roads against the unannounced load shedding, causing production losses and massive lay off.
* PTEA concerned over four-day gas loadshedding plan:
Textile exporters have expressed grave concern over the SNGPL Gas Shedding Plan for four days a week for industry in Punjab.
This arbitrary shutdown is severely disturbing the productivity of industrial units and default export shipment schedule of textile exporters, they added.
Talking to media persons, Asghar Ali, Chairman and Muhammad Asif, Vice Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association said that PTEA had already pointed out government to reset its priorities as its casual approach towards energy supply is not only creating law and order situation in province but it has also jacked up graph of unemployment while the export orders are fast shifting to neighbouring countries.
read more. & read more. & read more.