In the news 19 Feb. 2014

09:11:40 local time map of china CHINA

* Textile Export Increased in January:

In January, according to Customs, export value of apparel totaled 110.56 billion Yuan, 13.4% up over the month; textile export value totaled 64.44 billion Yuan, 11.7% up over the month.

During recent two years, most domestic textiles adjusted product structure, put effort on R&D, and improve administration level to respond to the economy slow down, RMB appreciation and large cotton price domestic and abroad.
In January, textile export remained at high level, and the finished product inventory was less than expected; in response, textile product price was raised slightly.
Last week 10th -14th February, cotton textiles gradually came back to operation, and started buying cotton, CC Index 3128B settled at 19,448 Yuan per ton, 4 Yuan up over the week.
read more.

* China’s Export of Textiles and Garment Grow 11.4% in 2013:

Statistics from the General Administration of the Customs show that China’s export of textiles and garment amounted to US$ 26 billion in December 2013, up 7.9% year-on-year.

The export totaled US$ 283.99 billion in 2013, up 11.4% from 2012.
to read.

09:11:40 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Labor group welcomes less tax on 13th month, bonus:

Labor federation Trade Union Congress of the Philippines welcomes the move by Senate and House of Representatives to support a bill that raises the tax exemption ceiling on 13th month pay, bonus and other worker’s benefits.

TUCP Director for Education Rafael Mapalo said if the current tax ceiling on those extra income mentioned is amended, it would result in bigger take home pay for current minimum wage earners. However, he said the government must also look at improving the daily wage rate.

“Government has got to find a way to improve the purchasing power of minimum wage earners and allow them to feel the benefits of a growing economy,” Mapalo told Manila Bulletin Online.
“Increased income and decent jobs would spur economic growth. This should be our national concerns,” Mapalo added.
read more.

08:11:40 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Textile industry takes new steps in new year:

20140218 NHANDANWorkers at the Duc Giang Garment Corporation’s Factory 4 back to work after the Lunar New Year holiday (photo: Thanh Chuong)

Vietnam’s textile industry has targeted export revenue between US$22-23 billion in 2014 as it expects to benefit from a global economic recovery, increased demand for clothing and an enhanced production capacity.

Output acceleration
Output and export acceleration in the textile industry has been seen from the first days of 2014. After the Lunar New Year holiday, textile factories resumed operations in order to meet export orders. This year, textile companies saw stability in employment, as most workers got back to work in the early days of the new year.

On the fifth day of the lunar year, 10,000 workers at 17 facilities of the Hanoi-based Garment 10 Corporation (Garco10) began their first working day of the lunar year with high hopes that the year of the horse would bring success. Bui Thi Hang Nga, who has been working at Garco10’s Factory 5 since 2009, said that although half of the workers in her team come from provinces outside Hanoi, they were all present on the fifth day of the lunar year in order to fulfil orders placed by BONODI, a German customer.
Nga said she received nearly VND10 million (US$470) as a Tet bonus this year. “We are very excited, more work means higher income so workers in the company all make efforts to increase productivity so that they can get higher Tet bonuses.”
read more.

* ILO, Vietnam review employment cooperation:

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), reviewed the implementation of the ILO-Vietnam Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) in Hanoi on February 18.

The DWCP was signed on May 24, 2012 and two meetings were held in May 2012 and May 2013 to set priorities for each partner.

Over the past two years, relevant DWCP parties have implemented the program within the confines of the set priorities, including improving the quality and sustainability of growth through high qualified human resources and sustainable work and business development.
read more. & read more. & read more.

* Vietnam-ILO cooperation on sustainable employment:

20140218 VOV

The steering committee for cooperation between Vietnam and the International Labor Organization (ILO) on sustainable employment between 2012 and 2016 convened in Hanoi on Tuesday.

ILO and its partners have helped Vietnam implement a number of important projects concerning labor relations, setting the minimum wage, occupational safety, and eliminating child labor.
read more.

* Vietnam, India increase textile exchanges:

India has gained high bilateral trade turnover in the garment industry with most countries, but its textile trade value with Vietnam remains low.

The President of the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council of India (Texprocil), Manikam Ramaswami, made the statement at an exchange between Vietnamese and Indian textile makers in Ho Chi Minh City on February 18.

Ramaswami said Indian cotton textile only accounted for 1.59%, cotton fibre for 16.5% and cotton fabric for 0.58% of the market share in Vietnam – much lower than the average world level of 26%.

Thus the Texprocil and the Powerloom Development and Export Promotion Council (Pdexcil) sent an Indian business delegation on a fact-finding tour of Vietnam to promote textile potential.
read more.

* India eyes VN cotton textile market:

Vying for a bigger share of the Vietnamese market, Indian cotton textile companies met with Vietnamese businesses yesterday in HCM City to promote the benefits of enhanced trade.

At the meeting were representatives from more than 20 companies from India, one of the biggest cotton textile manufacturers in the world.
Manikam Ramaswami, chairman of India’s Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council, said that in most markets the council had been able to reach a respectable level of trade fairly quickly.
read more.
VNNews new

08:11:40 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Raises pending, prices soaring:

Since Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng announced in late-December that the ministry would hike the minimum monthly wage for the garment sector to $100, Nuch Sdoeung has, at times, questioned if he could even afford beef.

“We do not yet earn a base wage of $100, but my landlord raised the price of my rental room by $5, and food prices have skyrocketed,” Sdoeung, a 35-year-old employee at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd, said yesterday.

The wage boost from the prior minimum wage of $80 – which includes a $5 health bonus – went into effect on February 1, Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said in a text message yesterday. But garment workers will not be paid February’s wages until next month. In the interim, they endure the price escalation without enjoying pay gains.

The recent $20 minimum wage increase stands apart from previous raises in industry pay, due to the nationwide strike – which authorities violently quashed in early January – it sparked when union groups demanded $160. However, the problem of price gouging in areas where workers live once a pay increase is announced is longstanding, said Dave Welsh, country director for labour rights group Solidarity Center.

“Just the way the industry is structured … rent and food around the factories are totally pegged to the minimum wage,” Welsh said. “It’s a huge, huge problem for most workers.”
read more.
PPP new

07:41:40 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* EU to support sustainable garment production in Myanmar:

A programme aimed at promoting and supporting sustainable production of garments in Myanmar was launched at the first-ever meeting of the EU-Myanmar Task Force, held in Yangon.
The €2 million SMART Myanmar project aims to boost competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by building their capacity and increasing their skills and knowledge in partnership with local organizations, Myanmar Times reported.
The 3-year (2013-2015) SMEs for Environmental, Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency (SMART) program promotes and supports the sustainable production of garments “Made in Myanmar”.
Around 20 of the current 100 SME members of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers’ Association (MGMA) would be chosen by the EU under the project, to be brought up to the European market standards, Andris Piebalgs, EU commissioner for development said at a press conference.
read more.

 07:11:40 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* RMG makers at odds over buyers’ factory inspection’:

Demand inclusion of local experts in teams

A fresh complexity has emerged over global buyers’ factory inspection programmes, as local apparel makers have raised objection regarding the assessment, carried out only by foreign engineers.

The apparel makers’ objection surfaced at a views exchange meeting on building, fire and electric safety assessment in RMG factories.
BGMEA organised the programme at its headquarters in the city Tuesday, where Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain was present as the chief guest.

Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, vice chancellor of University of Asia Pacific, Shamim Z Bosunia, president of Institute of Engineers, Bangladesh, and Md Nurul Huda, chairman of RAJUK, among others, spoke at the programme.
Two BUET professors presented keynote paper on guidelines on fire and building safety assessment.

President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Md. Atiqul Islam in his speech sought the government’s intervention to formulate the guidelines, including mandatory approval from the authorities concerned for foreign engineers, assessing the garment factories.

The Accord has already appointed four global companies to assess the local RMG units.  He requested the minister to take necessary measures, so that those engineers inspect the units with local engineers, as the global experts are not familiar with the country’s scenario.

“The garment industry is under threat after the Rana Plaza tragedy, as buyers are imposing many new conditions on the manufactures, especially about safety-related measures.” The BGMEA chief also urged the minister to sit with the Accord and the Alliance in this regard.
read more.
FE bd

* Apparel unit owners demand rules for overseas inspectors:

Experts and garment factory owners on Tuesday put emphasis on formulating rules and regulations for the overseas engineers who would inspect garment factories under the initiatives of global retailers.

They said that there should be a provision for the foreign engineers of taking approval from Institution of Engineers Bangladesh or any other professional institutions to work in Bangladesh.
The observation came at a time when the EU Accord is going to start its factory inspection in Bangladesh today.
In an exchange of views with housing and public works minister Mosharraf Hossain on building, fire and electrical safety assessment of readymade garment factories, the garment exporters expressed their fear that during the inspection the EU Accord and North American Alliance might impose some tough conditions as the inspection would be conducted by the foreign engineers who were not habituated with the environment of Bangladesh.
read more.
BD new age

* Spanner in factory safety efforts:

Buyers, RMG makers at loggerheads over who to inspect

20140219 DAILYSTAR spanner-in-factory
A run-down garment factory in the capital’s Banani. Photo: File

A rift has opened up between retailers and garment manufacturers over factory inspection standards — a development that threatens to derail the efforts to improve safety standards in factories.

Garment makers have termed very stringent the inspection standards of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of European-led 150 clothing retailers and brands, categorically opposing the hiring of foreign engineers.
The clauses making mandatory the use of sprinkler system and thick electrical coils at factories have also become a moot point.
The latest disagreement surfaced after the European retailers said they would begin inspection of the supplier factories from today with foreign experts and engineers.
Rob Wayss, executive director of Bangladesh operation of the Accord, said 37 foreign experts have been hired for the inspection.
“Gradually, we will recruit engineers and experts from Bangladesh,” he told The Daily Star over the phone yesterday.
Wayss said he held a meeting on Sunday with more than 400 garment factory owners at the BGMEA office in the capital to discuss how the standards can be followed.
“We had a long discussion and many owners opposed the standards. But the standards have been set to ensure safety of the workers.”
read more.
daily star bd

* BGMEA wants factory inspection by foreigners on set guidelines:

The apparel makers’ apex body made the appeal to Housing and Public Works minister

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has urged the government to fix a guideline for conducting the inspection by the foreign engineers at their factories under Accord and Alliance fire and building safety inspection programme.

The apparel makers’ apex body made the appeal to Housing and Public Works minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain while exchanging a views at a meeting titled ‘Building, Fire and Electrical Safety Assessment of RMG Factory’, held yesterday at BGMEA office.

In response the minister said, ‘’The foreign engineers, who will come Bangladesh to inspect factories under Accord and Alliance fire and safety standards programme, will have to take registration from professional institutes like BUET and Institute of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) before going to inspect the factories.
read more.

* RMG inspection at odds with each other!:

It has been quite a while the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry is under the strictest of scanners following the incidents of factory tragedies.

The scanning is no less strong at home than that of the overseas, and the interest generated in the media to follow activities undertaken to improve factory conditions and labour welfare activities reflects public awareness that should have been there long back.

The RMG sector is supposed to be having the busiest time at the moment, engaged not just in manufacturing for export but in equal measure, if not more, in improving workplace conditions and addressing the rights issues in compliance with the European Union (EU) Sustainability Compact and the US Action Plan.
Ever since these issues came up, there was a torrent of reports, at times conflicting one with another, on how these are to be taken up, whose key stake it would be to ensure compliance, how to monitor progress and in what form, how to address the rectifying measures and so on.
In fact, given the apparently monumental nature of the work and the endless series of activities to follow, it is not unusual to be taken aback at the initial stage, finding things difficult to be coordinated in order for them to be properly directed.
But after a lapse of several months, it seems, despite the reported progress, the stakeholders are yet to firm up a methodical approach.
read more.
FE bd

* EU RMG retailers start factory safety inspection today:

Safety experts appointed by the European retailers will start today inspection of around 1,500 Bangladesh garment factories from where they procure products, said an official of the retailers group on Tuesday.

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, the platform of EU retailers, has appointed four international firms for assessment of fire, electrical and structural safety of the garment units, Accord executive director for Bangladesh operations of Rob Wayss told New Age on Tuesday
He said about 70 to 80 inspectors in 40 teams will inspect approximately 1,500 garment factories, recommend safety improvements and set a deadline for the owners to implement the necessary measures by September.
read more.
BD new age

* Foreign RMG unit resumes production at Mongla EPZ:

A foreign ready-made garment unit at Mongla Export Processing Zone here resumed production on Tuesday after one day’s suspension following labour unrest.

Authorities of ‘Mongla Knitwear Private Ltd’ of Hong Kong suspended the production at the factory on Monday after its workers staged demonstrations to realise their various demands, including implementation of the salary structure announced by the government.
The factory resumed production on Tuesday after a fruitful meeting among the factory authorities, EPZ councillors and the agitating workers, said EPZ general manager Hafizur Rahman.
to read. & to read.

* Hectic efforts on to get US GSP facility restored:

The Bangladesh government has taken a number of steps for obtaining the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) which is expected to be reviewed in May this year in the US congress.

Commerce Ministry sources quoted US Ambassador in Bangladesh, Dan W Mozena as saying recently that Bangladesh’s progress on the front was “satisfactory.”

Earlier, Commerce Minister Tofael Ahmed told a group of businessman recently that 13 of the 16 conditions for restoration of GSP facility has been met and the other three will be fulfilled soon.

On the side of the first meeting with the US under the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) which is likely to be held on April 6, the GSP issue will also be raised, Commerce Minister Tofael Ahmed disclosed this while briefing journalists at his ministry recently, after a meeting with the US Ambassador.

Besides, a team from US including a group of private investors will visit Bangladesh in the first week of April to discuss the issue, the minister added.
read more. & read more.

* USTR review on GSP for Bangladesh negative:

A US review of Bangladesh’s meeting an action plan for the reinstatement of GSP facilities projected a negative outcome as the plan was not fully implemented.

Bangladesh has now been given till April 15 to comply the plan as the US Trade Representative will review the compliance next in May, a senior foreign ministry official said.
Bangladesh lost GSP facilities on the US market in June 2013.
Foreign and commerce ministries of Bangladesh received the review report in the past week, officials said. USTR officials handed over the report to the Bangladesh mission in Washington on February 5.
The report urged the government to implement the action plan, suggesting  further amendment to the labour law so that workers in EPZ factories could have the right to association and collective bargaining as workers outside export processing zones.
read more.
BD new age

* Country’s RMG industry set to be equipped with modern machinery:

Country’s US$ 23 billion worth apparel industry is set to be equipped with modern machinery and tools which garment makers believe will make their products cost-effective and enhance their ability to compete in the global market.

A number of garment makers told the FE that the latest clothing machinery mostly innovated in Germany are capable of minimising their production cost along with upgrading quality and reducing wastages.

On a visit, this scribe found the modern machinery in a number of garment factories at Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur.
The garment makers, mostly second-generation in clothing making industry, said they have replaced their existing equipment with the latest and costly machinery.
read more.
FE bd

* RMG manufacturers eye big spot orders from US expo:

Bangladeshi manufacturers of readymade garments (RMG) are participating in a three-day apparel expo in the US resort city of Las Vegas in Nevada, showcasing their latest garment products to get an extra edge in North American market.

The Men’s Apparel Guild in California, known as MAGIC International, a leading event manager for apparels industry, is organizing the three-day expo that began on Tuesday.
The fashion exhibition has accommodated over 1100 manufacturers from apparel and garment accessories and footwear sectors who are displaying an array of products including clothing and footwear and garment accessories.
read more.
FE bd

* 20 jute mills shut for low demand:

Many more factories are vulnerable as govt is yet to implement a packaging law for compulsory use of jute sacks

Around 20 jute mills were shut down in the last 7/8 months due to a depressed international market and currency devaluation in India, industry people said.

Another major reason behind the closure of the factories that used to make sacks, bags and yarn is the government’s failure to implement a packaging law for compulsory use of jute sacks to pack food grains and other items.
The domestic demand would get a boost if the law was implemented properly, they said.
“The current adverse situation has forced us to lay off workers temporarily,” said Kaihan N Rahman, deputy managing director of 40-year-old Pubali Jute Mills.
Pubali used to make mainly jute sacks and bags and export those to countries like India, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Sudan. Most of these markets have been facing political turmoil for months, while devaluation of the Indian currency has shrunk Bangladesh’s exports of jute and jute goods there.
read more.
daily star bd

* Justice for Bangladesh’s Workers:

The owners of a Bangladeshi factory, Tazreen Fashions, where a fire killed 112 workers in late 2012, surrendered to the police on Sunday and are expected to face trial on charges of negligence.

Justice has often been delayed and denied in Bangladesh. It has been particularly out of reach for workers in the country’s powerful garment industry, which employs about four million workers and sells billions of dollars of clothes to Western retailers like Walmart, Gap and H&M.

The industry has an abysmal safety record. Fires in factories have killed hundreds of garment workers in Bangladesh in recent years. Yet legal experts say the owner of Tazreen, Delowar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akther, who was also a director at the company, may be the first executives in the country to be charged with a crime related to a factory fire.
Another group of executives linked to Rana Plaza, a building that collapsed in April 2013 and killed more than 1,100 workers, have also been arrested and are awaiting a trial that is expected to begin this year.
read more.

                       THE TAZREEN FACTORY FIRE

* Bangladesh fire victims await compensation:

Ahead of safety inspections, victims of a factory fire say they have not received promised compensation.

Victims of a garment factory fire in Bangladesh two years ago say they have yet to receive compensation.
Safety experts hired by western retailers will begin a mass inspection of garment factories in Bangladesh on Wednesday, as the country has been under pressure to improve safety standards after a series of accidents over the past two years.
read & see more. (video report).


* Delay in Rana Plaza charge framing unacceptable:

The Criminal Investigation Department looks set to miss yet another deadline for submission of charge sheets in the two criminal cases related to the April 24, 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar, which left at least 1,135 people killed, so suggests a report published in New Age on Tuesday.

The report quotes a senior superintendent of police as saying that the department plans to submit the charge sheets by mid-March, although the judicial magistrate’s court concerned asked it to do so on February 19.
The department earlier missed two deadlines set by the court — November 24 and December 24, 2014.
In the wake of the deadliest disaster in the apparel sector, the police filed a criminal case against the owners of the building and the apparel factories housed there and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha against the Savar municipality, which is reported to have complicit in the construction of the illegal and ill-fated eight-storey structure.

Moreover, the family of one of the victims filed a murder case with a Dhaka court. With the government high-up having pledged expeditious arrest, prosecution and punishment of those responsible, it was generally expected that the investigators would be prompt in completing the task in hand. Such expectations, it now seems, may have been misplaced and premature.
read more.
BD new age

06:41:40 local time map of india INDIA

* Power loom units to go on strike:

Power loom units that take up job works for master weavers in Coimbatore and Tirupur Districts will not function from February 21.

The unit owners are seeking higher wages from the master weavers.
The last wage agreement between the job-working power loom unit owners and the master weavers was signed about two-and-a-half years ago. Coimbatore and Tirupur districts have nearly 15,000 job-working units with about two lakh looms. These provide employment for two lakh people.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* Powerloom weavers stage dharna:

The powerloom weavers of Sircilla textile town affiliated to CITU staged a massive dharna in front of the Collectorate here on Tuesday, demanding the distribution of modern looms and other facilities.

Several hundreds of powerloom weavers assembled at the Circus grounds and took out a procession to the Collectorate. CITU State secretary Md Abbas, CPI (M) district secretary G. Mukund Reddy, CITU district secretary P. Ravi Kumar, Sircilla leaders Pantham Ravi, M. Ramesh and others participated in the programme.

They said that the Union Textile Ministry’s plan to modernise powerlooms would benefit only master weavers and demanded that the benefits reach other powerloom workers as well by providing them land and sheds with modern looms to provide value added fabric. They also sought ESI and PF facilities for the weavers.
to read.
Return to frontpage

* Textile Minister chairs first meeting of Handloom Board:

Textiles Minister K S Rao chaired the first meeting of the reconstituted All India Handloom Board and discussed measures taken to boost the industry.

“In the Revival, Reform and Restructuring Package, so far financial assistance to the tune of Rs 1,019 crore has been approved and the Government has released Rs 741 crore. The package has supported around 31 apex, 8,805 primary cooperatives, 50,500 individual weavers and 5,462 self-help groups,” a Textile Ministry statement said.

Notable schemes which were initiated in the recent past are revival, reform and restructuring package for the handloom sector aiming to waive the outstanding loans of individual weavers and cooperative societies, to provide concessional credit to the weavers and to give 10 per cent yarn subsidy, it said.
read more.
Return to frontpage

* Indian govt extends sops to textile machinery sector:

The Government of India has reduced the Central Excise Duty by 2 percent on textile machinery and also increased the allocation under the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), to boost modernization of the textile industry.
“To stimulate growth in the capital goods and consumer non-durables, I propose to reduce the excise duty from 12 percent to 10 percent on all goods falling under chapter 84 and chapter 85 of the Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act for the period up to 30.6.2014,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in his Interim Budget 2014-2015 speech in Parliament.
read more.

06:11:40 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Punjab-based textile industry still facing 6 hours’ loadshedding:

The Punjab-based textile industry is still facing six hours loadshedding despite the fact that the hydel generation has quadrupled to around 3000 MW after the canal closure since January 25, 2014.

It may be noted that continuous power supply was being ensured to the Punjab-based textile industry through an independent 11 KV feeders during previous years. However, this year the situation is different.

Pepco sources are of the view that it is due to misinterpretation of the apex court’s judgement dated December 12, 2013 passed in HRC No 14392 of 2013, according to which electricity loadshedding in the country must be held without any distinction between rural and urban areas as well as domestic, commercial and industrial sectors.
read more.

* PHMA concerned over gas suspension to textile sector:

Muhammad Amjad Khawaja Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA North Zone) has expressed concern over gas suspension to textile sector terming it a negative and retrogressive step towards national economy.

He said no doubt GSP-Plus status was a major economic breakthrough and diplomatic victory of the government but co-operation of various government organisations was imperative to harvest its fruits, he added.

Talking to newsmen, he said economic managers of the country had rightly pinned high hopes with textile sector for the revival of the economy that was continuously facing crisis one after another.
Textile sector also fully co-operated with government and despite of protracted energy crisis and deteriorating law and order situation, they played their national role in earning precious foreign exchange in addition to providing much needed jobs to the unemployed youth.
read more.

* Gas supply to textile sector demanded:

Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has demanded the government set up a garments city in Jalalpur Pirwala.

Talking to journalists here on Tuesday, the PCGA Chairman, Mukhtar Baloch, also demanded an immediate restoration of uninterrupted gas supply to textile sector and all other industrial units.
He said power and gas loadshedding were not a good omen at the beginning of GSP package, otherwise, the country’s export would suffer a lot. He said due to loadshedding and unavailability of gas for industry increased the cost of production.
read more.

* APTMA head worries over expected shift in tax policy:

Muhammad Yasin Siddik, Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has shown great concern over the government’s plans to increase sales tax rate on textile industry from the current 2 percent to 5 percent in the first phase and 17 percent in the next three years.

IChairman, APTMA said that the anticipated rise in textile exports through the relief obtained under GSP Plus Scheme granted by European Union would not be mitigated as there would be a liquidity crunch and compounded at a time when the government is the largest borrower from the banking system and why would the banks desire to lend to industry at the same cost as the government.
read more. & read more.

* 13.3m bales of cotton produced:

Dwindling trend in phutti (seed cotton) arrivals witnessed during the second half of current season (2013-14) has its toll on overall cotton production.

The output was initially showing a higher growth of up to 15 per cent but has now touched merely 4.82pc over the corresponding period last season.
According to official figures, cotton production up to Feb 15 stood at 13.242 million bales as against 12.633m bales, showing that only 0.609m more bales have been produced over the corresponding period last season.

The official estimates of higher cotton production and those of private sector forecasts could not be realised because of damage caused by pest attack to cotton crop in southern Sindh and floods and heavy rains in some cotton growing belts in Punjab.
read more.

* LHC upholds decision on Garment City:

A Lahore High Court division bench on Tuesday dismissed appeals challenging a single bench decision wherein several petitions against the establishment of Garment City on Sheikhupura Road were dismissed.

As hearing started, the appellants through their Advocate Dr Basit had pleaded that the single bench had dismissed their writ petitions without going into details of the case.
read more.

* Livelihood support: Baitul Maal distributes 100 sewing machines in Sahiwal:

As many as 100 sewing machines were distributed today by Pakistan Baitul Maal Managing Director Abid Waheed Sheikh among under-privileged women in Sahiwal. Sheikh told The Express Tribune that the Baitul Maal had been running 30 ‘sweet homes’ across the country with 3,500 orphans currently.

He said they were also running 175 vocational training institutes for widows and poor women.
These institutes were teaching women how to make handicrafts among other skills, which would enable them to sustain themselves and earn at least Rs8,000 to Rs10,000  a month.
read more.


* Greenpeace finds waterway pollutants in luxury fashion brands:

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has found traces of chemicals that can pollute waterways in children’s clothing and shoes made by luxury brands, challenging the sector’s reputation for higher standards than those of mass fashion.

In a report issued yesterday just before Milan Fashion Week, Greenpeace said it found the substances in products from Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Hermes, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.

Greenpeace has been campaigning against pollutants used in the textile industry since 2011. It wants major brands and their suppliers to commit to stop discharging potentially harmful chemicals in waste water by 2020.

Concerned about toxicity to aquatic organisms and the fact some do not biodegrade easily, the European Union has restricted the industrial use of some of these chemicals but there are no rules on the sales of textiles containing their residues.

Greenpeace said 12 of the 27 articles it tested contained residues of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), used in textile manufacturing which it said can break down into hormone-disrupting chemicals when released from garments during washing.
read more. & to read.
MALAYonLINE reuters

* Fashion likes to dress itself up as something more, but it is one of the most hyper-capitalist businesses:

It is one of the very few businesses allowed to present itself as not being wholly about commerce, but the facts say otherwise

Here are three facts about the fashion industry. It is worth $1.5tn a year. It is one of the most globalised trades of them all, and has been since at least the British empire. It is also one of the very few businesses allowed to present itself as not being wholly about commerce.

For proof of that last point, simply look around you. At the moment, the fashion industry is in the middle of the first of its biennial marketing blitzes. Not that it is presented as such – instead, it is counted as news. Seasoned correspondents file from catwalks and media organisations, including this one, run live blogs from the runway shows. Meanwhile, the pricier glossies detail what you need to buy for those beach holidays and that the high street has dumped the merino for linen – which, as of this morning, feels as climatically appropriate as being assailed with a sprig of mistletoe in July.

But now and again the mask slips and all those column inches and picture galleries are called what they are: advertising. The press release for London fashion week, which ends on Tuesday, makes no bones about it: “UK media coverage each season exceeds £160m,” while the value of foreign media publicity is put at £120m. Getting on for £300m of free promotion for a four-day trade show: not bad.
Fashion is among the most hyper-capitalist businesses of the lot – one that produces goods for short-term use (to be updated or thrown out every six months), sourced from all over the world and generating substantial profits for those at the top, even while those workers at the bottom face the risk of starvation (it is estimated that one in three textile workers in Cambodia are medically underweight) or death, as in the perennial textile factory deaths of the Indian subcontinent.
Most other sectors wouldn’t get away without at least some scrutiny of themselves as industries, of the toll on their workers and the environment. The diligent can read LVMH’s results in the business section of the papers, but the rest of its trade is covered further forward in the book.

It is one of the great conjuring tricks of capitalism. And the result is to paint out the producer, the subcontinental woman in her unsafe factory. It means that disasters such as Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, which killed 1,133 people and injured 2,500, are treated as anomalies – rather than part of a system in which manufacture is outsourced to subcontractors who operate under a regulatory regime that can best be described as turning a blind eye. And it ignores the end product: the 350,000 tonnes of clothing go into landfill in Britain alone.
read more.



map of Asia


There are updates under ‘special reports’:

* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 3: 20131116- NOW
* 24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 3 20131109- NOW
* Bangladesh – the Labour Law 23 April 2013-now


* Textile Export Increased in January
* China’s Export of Textiles and Garment Grow 11.4% in 2013

* Labor group welcomes less tax on 13th month, bonus

* Textile industry takes new steps in new year
* ILO, Vietnam review employment cooperation
* Vietnam-ILO cooperation on sustainable employment
* Vietnam, India increase textile exchanges
* India eyes VN cotton textile market

* Raises pending, prices soaring

* EU to support sustainable garment production in Myanmar

* RMG makers at odds over buyers’ factory inspection
* Apparel unit owners demand rules for overseas inspectors
* Spanner in factory safety efforts
* BGMEA wants factory inspection by foreigners on set guidelines
* RMG inspection at odds with each other!
* EU RMG retailers start factory safety inspection today
* Foreign RMG unit resumes production at Mongla EPZ
* Hectic efforts on to get US GSP facility restored
* USTR review on GSP for Bangladesh negative
* Country’s RMG industry set to be equipped with modern machinery
* RMG manufacturers eye big spot orders from US expo
* 20 jute mills shut for low demand
* Justice for Bangladesh’s Workers
* Bangladesh fire victims await compensation
* Delay in Rana Plaza charge framing unacceptable

* Power loom units to go on strike
* Powerloom weavers stage dharna
* Textile Minister chairs first meeting of Handloom Board
* Indian govt extends sops to textile machinery sector

* Punjab-based textile industry still facing 6 hours’ loadshedding
* PHMA concerned over gas suspension to textile sector
* Gas supply to textile sector demanded
* APTMA head worries over expected shift in tax policy
* 13.3m bales of cotton produced
* LHC upholds decision on Garment City
* Livelihood support: Baitul Maal distributes 100 sewing machines in Sahiwal

* Greenpeace finds waterway pollutants in luxury fashion brands
* Fashion likes to dress itself up as something more, but it is one of the most hyper-capitalist businesses

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2