in the news on-line, 16 Oct. 2013

18:20:32 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* BATEXPO generates fewer orders:

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA), this year purchase orders worth $58 million have been generated from the expo. Out of which $57.3 million was spot orders. Stock lot sales amounted to $1.34 million

Last year’s the show managed to generate purchase orders of $61.7 million, of which $6.02 million was received from spot orders. Stock lot sales figure had stood at $1.42 million.

BGMEA organises the exposition every year to promote apparel products and attract international buyers. The recent disasters like the Tajrin Fashions fire and Rana Plaza collapse, many believe, have apparently attributed to this year’s lacklustre response.
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* Gas pilferage hits Rupganj factories:

Gas pilferage by an influential syndicate from the factories’ supply line causes immense losses to the owners of the factories at Rupgnaj in Narayanganj, a major textile hub of the country.

More than 1,000 thousand factories are being set up in the Rupganj, locally known as textile zone. Production at most of the factories of Rupganj textile zone is being hindered severely following low pressure of gas to the factories due to illegal gas connection from the factories’ to individual gas-pipe by the local residents. Many of the factory owners of the area have taken legal gas connection from the Titas Gas by their individual gas pipe, paying huge prices.
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( Eid-ul-Azha holiday for newspapers Oct 15-17 -Reported by: UNBconnect.
Reported on: October 8th, 2013 01:55:26 pm
Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) will observe holiday on October 15, 16 and 17, 2013 on account of holy Eid-ul Azha.)

17:50:32 local time map of india INDIA

* 10 to 12-year-olds working in Punjab’s knitwear units:

On September 26, when a team formed by the Ludhiana sub-divisional magistrate raided Rinku Hosiery Works in the city, Mahant Kumar quoted his age as 12.

On September 30, the medical report sent by the Ludhiana civil surgeon mentioned his age to be around 10. The medical report also found “13-year-old” Raju to be 11 and “15-year-old” Sunny to be 13. Suresh Kumar, who cited his age as 16, was medically 12 and Gandhi Kumar was four years younger than 18, the age mentioned by him to the raiding team.

Twelve children working in the factory were found to be under 14 — prohibited under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 — and 21 were found to be below 18 — a cognizable offence under the Juvenile Justice Act. Another raid at SP Hosiery Works in Ludhiana the same day found 10 workers below 18, just one was found above 18 by the medical report.

Intriguingly, a few children in the two factories were found to be above the age stated by them. Ten-year-old Rajiv Ram, working at Rinku Hosiery Works, was found to be above 12 while the medical report of two children who cited their age as eight put them above 13.
The Punjab labour department has carried out similar raids in knitwear and woollen factories in Amritsar.

Stating that a large number of child labour is working in Ludhiana and Amritsar’s knitwear industry, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to the Punjab chief secretary that a team of the commission will visit the two industrial hubs on October 16 and 17 to take stock of compliance of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act.
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* 47 young labourers rescued from spinning mill in Erode:

Victims allegedly suffered deprivation and torture at the work place

Forty-seven young labourers, including 24 from Chhattisgarh and 12 from Assam, most of them girls, were rescued from bondage in P.V. Spinning Mill at Vinnapalli village near Sathyamangalam in Erode district by a team of officials on Monday night. The remaining 11 workers are all girls belonging to various parts of Tamil Nadu.

Twenty of the youngsters from Chhattisgarh and six from Assam are girls, official sources said.

After a mandatory inquiry with the rescued persons, Satyamangalam Tahsildar T. Muthuramalingam and Gobichettipalayam Revenue Divisional Officer In-Charge Adhimoolam submitted a report to the Erode District Collector V.K. Shanmugam on Tuesday evening. The Collector said legal action against the company would follow. A team of officials from Chhattisgarh is also making inquiries.

Each of the rescued labourers would be given a release certificate and Rs. 1,000 and sent home on Wednesday, District Revenue Officer S. Ganesh said. Appropriate action would be initiated against the erring company, he said.
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* ‘Pay higher bonus to textile workers in Tirupur’:

Textile business has been on an upward curve, say trade unions

With Deepavali fast approaching, the demand from trade unions for higher bonus for textile workers vis-à-vis the scale of bonus given by the respective garment companies during last year and its timely disbursal has started gaining momentum in Tirupur knitwear cluster.

Sources in the trade unions said companies disbursed bonus up to around 30 per cent of the annual wages last year.

“Workers have every right for enhanced scale of bonus this year because the textile business from Tirupur cluster has been on an upward curve. Moreover, the higher bonus is essential as the workers’ daily spending has increased almost by 80 per cent due to abnormal upward revision in the prices of essential commodities and cost of living,” C. Moorthy, general secretary, CITU-affiliated Baniyan General Workers Union, told The Hindu .
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 17:50:32 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Apparel exports to top US$ 4 bn this year:

Sri Lankan apparel exports would reach the US$ 4 billion level this year said Yohan Lawrence, President of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association.

Speaking at the 31st Annual General Meeting at Cinnamon Lakeside he said that a year ago when he took office the industry was in a difficult situation. “Apparel exports were on the decline (they were about 7% down on the year), and there wasn’t much to look forward to. Against this expectation I believe we stand today in a better place than we could have foreseen a year ago.”

“What’s interesting is that within this, there’s a 9% increase in our exports to the US.” The Association represents today a membership of 75 companies employing in excess of 150,000 people. He said they are very optimistic on the proposed Free Trade Agreement with China.
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Garment industry should look outside of US, EU:

Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) Chairman Yohan Lawrence said that as an industry, it apparel industry stakeholders should look at markets other than United States and the European Union, without losing the foothold on them.

“Whilst I firmly believe we should keep our foothold in these markets, we have to accept that if we want the industry to grow, but we have to start looking to markets outside of the US and the EU. Currently over 85% of our exports go to those markets and if we want to grow the industry and anything like the target of eight per cent the reality is that growth has to come from other countries. We should view the US and the EU as our stable baseline and look to grow in new areas.”

He added that the industry looked forward to the free trade agreement (FTA) with China, which is anticipated to come through relatively quickly.
“Apparel is included (in the FTAs) as an industry. This will help in two ways. Firstly we will have the opportunity to tap in to the growth in that market, particularly for branded products. The Chinese consumer is getting more and more affluent and is seeking out internationally branded products,” he said.
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17:20:32 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* ‘Garment industry not prepared to benefit from GSP Plus status’:

With strict import policies in the country, local garment industry is not prepared to take benefit of the duty-free access to the EU markets under the GSP Plus status mainly due to shortage of raw materials, an official said.

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Prgmea) North Zone Senior Vice Chairman Jawwad A Chaudhry after assuming the charge lamented that Pakistan could utilise only three textile categories, of the total 73 types relaxed by the EU states for duty-free import from Pakistan in 2013.

“The government has to relax import policy to empower value-added textile industry to get the maximum benefit of the GSP Plus status, as the country has no raw material except cotton.
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* Dwindling rupee lifts textile profitability:

The depreciating rupee value against greenback has boosted the profits of largest textile industry of the country, as the listed textile firms profit have jumped by 150 per cent to Rs30.6 billion in fiscal year 2013.

Industry sources said that the fall of rupee has been seen as a positive sign for exports of Pakistan, as the local currency has fallen 8 per cent since the beginning of 2013. Moreover, it depreciated faster in the last two months, as it went down by a sharp 4pc against the greenback.
With a share of over 50pc in the country’s total exports, the textile industry has emerged stronger in fiscal 2013-14.

Industry sources believed that Pakistan’s textile exports are going to benefit from two major reasons, as China is focusing more on the technology sector instead of textile, but yarn demand from China is growing.
read more.

17:20:32 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Uzbek Singer Loses License For Refusal To Pick Cotton:

A popular Uzbek singer, Jasur Umerov, has been stripped of his performing license after he failed to take part in mandatory cotton harvesting.

A representative of the Uzbeknavo license-issuing agency said Umerov’s license was withdrawn on October 11 because he “had simulated illness to avoid cotton picking and his songs contradict the Uzbek national mentality.”
All Uzbek entertainers must obtain licenses to perform in public.
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* Haitian garment plants accused of cheating workers:

labor rights group is accusing clothing manufacturers in Haiti of frequently cheating workers out of their meager wages.

The U.S.-based Worker Rights Consortium says in a report that workers receive an average of 32 percent less than what they should.
It says the practice is “both widespread and severe” in Haiti’s apparel industry, which the U.S. and other nations hope will create jobs for the impoverished Caribbean country.

The report, to be released Wednesday, draws on interviews with garment workers and a review of pay records from five of the country’s 24 export garment factories.
The head of a government commission that supports Haiti’s garment sector insisted Tuesday that the factories comply with the law and said the country’s minimum wage is higher than in places like Pakistan, India and Mexico.

“No one in this country would show up for work if they felt their wages were being stolen,” said Yves Savain, executive director of the commission. “They would speak up.”
Under a law that took effect in 2009, garment workers who meet production quotas earn 300 gourdes for an eight-hour day, or $6.81. Workers elsewhere earn 200 gourdes, or $4.54.

The report accuses employers of cheating workers in three ways: Production quotas are set so high that workers can’t meet the goals in a regular work day. Wages paid for overtime are based on an hourly rate below the minimum wage for production workers instead of at a premium rate above this wage as required by law. Some factory workers aren’t paid for work performed before and after their recorded working hours or during lunch breaks.
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map of Asia


* BATEXPO generates fewer orders
* Gas pilferage hits Rupganj factories

* 10 to 12-year-olds working in Punjab’s knitwear units
* 47 young labourers rescued from spinning mill in Erode
* ‘Pay higher bonus to textile workers in Tirupur’

* Apparel exports to top US$ 4 bn this year
* Garment industry should look outside of US, EU

* ‘Garment industry not prepared to benefit from GSP Plus status’
* Dwindling rupee lifts textile profitability

* Uzbek Singer Loses License For Refusal To Pick Cotton

* Haitian garment plants accused of cheating workers

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