in the news 7-10 February 2015

00:26:55 local time map of china CHINA

20150210 * GM is a question of public or private good:

The fact is, despite having the fourth-largest acreage of GM crops in the world, India has not (yet) allowed any GM experimentation with food grains, vegetables or fruits.

Moreover, almost the whole of India’s 11.6 millions hectares of GM crops last year consisted of Bt cotton (from seeds supplied by Monsanto, the American company that controls much of “Bollgard” technology or Bt) and thus the Indian market.

The question is: Does China want to prevent a Monsanto-like monopoly or does it just want to use discretion in allowing the use of GM seeds to grow food crops?

It’s difficult to say. But it would be refreshing to see a State-run GM seed company, whose intention is not to earn profits but to ensure a country’s food security, taking on the mega-seed companies that have been ruling the international market.
read more.
CHINAORG

00:26:55 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

20150208 * Gov’t urged to strictly implement occupational health, safety:

 “Employers must not only pay administrative fines and sanctions, they must also face criminal liabilities for any death or injury caused by their violation of occupational health and safety standards.”

Fatal accidents in construction sites in the Philippines are bound to keep happening if the government does not change its way of (not) ensuring occupational health and safety standards (OHS).

This is the warning aired by various nongovernment groups adocating for workers’ rights including occupational health and safety.
After another accident in a construction site at the new stretch of highrise buildings at Bonifacio Global City has killed two workers and injured eight recently, labor rights advocates lamented that conditions in the construction industry, which make workers vulnerable to fatal or disabling accidents, have not changed.

“Existing regulations on employers’ compliance to occupational health and safety standards must be tightened,” Arman Hernando, head of the documentation program of the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, said in a statement. The calls are for the government to reverse its increased leaning on deregulation or nearly hands-off policies and to strictly enforce labor standards.
read more.
bulatlat_tagline

23:26:55 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

20150210 * Local textile firms short of funding:

Bình Duong: Khánh thành Nhà máy s?i Duy Nam 100% Cotton
Vinatex, the largest textile and garment producer in the sector with nearly 100 member companies and contributing about 15 per cent of annual export value. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

Lack of capital was the biggest problem for domestic textile companies trying to expand production, said Le Tien Truong, general director of Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).

Vinatex, the largest textile and garment producer in the sector with nearly 100 member companies and contributing about 15 per cent of annual export value, has little capital compared to FDI companies. Thus, while foreign companies had expanded production of materials, domestic companies could not, Truong said.

He pointed out that big manufacturers owned by Vinatex such as Phong Phu Joint Stock Company, Viet Tien Company and May 10 Company had small amounts of equity with VND700 billion (US$33.3 million), VND200 billion ($9.5 million) and VND100 billion ($4.76 million) respectively.

Chinese Texthong Corporation spent $300 million building three factories in Quang Ninh and Dong Nai to produce one million yarn spindles each year, equal to 20 per cent of annual market production.
Due to lack of capital, Vinatex-owned enterprises invested less in the completion stage, such as weaving and dyeing, Truong said.
read more.
VNNews new

20150209 * Vietnam likely to become second biggest EM apparel supplier surpassing Bangladesh:

Vietnam apparel industry to benefit from Trans Pacific Partership agreement (TPP) according to a research report by Standard Chartered Bank.
A wave of foreign investment in Vietnam’s textile industry has already begun, ahead of a potential TPP deal
.

On this basis, Vietnam likely to overtake Bangladesh in the global apparel export market share to become the second-biggest EM apparel supplier after China when its apparel exports swells to US$115 billion.

Based on StanChart’s forecast, Vietnam’s market share in apparel could rise to about 11 per cent from 4.0 per cent currently.
A TPP agreement would also affect textile suppliers to the three economies.

Negotiations have yet to reach a conclusive level although it is targeted to be tied up in 2015, after two year-end misses.

The TPP free trade grouping consists of Vietnam, along with 11 others namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and the US.

According to StanChart researcher, TPP would be negative for Central American apparel manufacturers that are currently subject to “triple transformation” rules under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and CAFTA-DR ( Dominican Republic- Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement) to access the US market.

Negotiations between the US and Vietnam are underway on the terms of the trade agreement on apparel.
The US is understood to favour “yarn forward” rules, which implies that all stages of production, starting with yarn spinning, must take place within a TPP country.
read more.
ynfxlogo

20150209 * Shoemakers upbeat on prospects for 2015:

With the advent of the TPP in 2015 and the steady shift by leading footwear brands away from China to Vietnam, enhancement of the country’s production capacity and its competitiveness capacity – there is much well founded buoyancy in the footwear sector over prospects for increased prosperity in 2015.

US made footwear accounted for only 2% of the US shoemaking industry in 2014, with the rest coming from imports, mainly Chinese, according to official government statistics.

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) coming into effect in 2015 and many of the current import tariffs ranging from 3.5 to 57.4% to be abolished, Vietnamese exporters are savouring the growth prospects.
read more BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/2 (1st item).
VNNet

20150209 * Growth expected in textile, footwear export turnover:

Several Vietnamese companies have received full orders for textile products by the end of the first quarter of this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The ministry said that some large firms have also received orders for delivery by the end of the second quarter.

In January, the textile and apparel export turnover was expected to be US$1.9 billion, a 1.2 per cent increase year-over-year.

The output of textile products has increased, compared with January 2014. The production of textiles made from natural fibres is estimated to rise by 9.7 per cent to reach 25.2 million sq. metres, while that of synthetic-fibre and man-made-fibre textiles will see a 14.8 per cent boost to touch 61 million sq. metres.read more BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/2 (7th item).
VNNet

23:26:55 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

20150210 * Garment-Sector Raises Hit by Falling Overtime:

Garment workers around the country have started picking up paychecks this month that for the first time include the $28 increase the government added to the sector’s previous minimum wage of $100. But with available overtime hours on the wane, enthusiasm for the raise is muted.

Outside factories around Phnom Penh over the past two days, workers said that both rising prices and falling overtime meant they took home less than an extra $28 for the work they put in last month. Some said they even earned less than they did before the raise.

Sem Pao, who supplements her work at the Bright Sky factory in Pur Senchey district as a hairdresser on her days off, said she picked up her paycheck on Thursday and that the $215 was only about $10 more than the month before.

“Our wages increased this month, but it’s almost the same as the last month because we don’t have overtime work to do,” she said. “Before we could work overtime, but they don’t ask anymore because orders are down.”
read more.
Cambodia_Daily_logo

20150210 * GMAC says orders are down due to wage hike:

Reports that buyer orders in Cambodia’s garment sector slowed to a crawl toward the end of 2014 have triggered mixed reasoning from industry representatives.

Bloomberg reported on February 2 that for the first 11 months of 2014, orders for the Kingdom’s garment and footwear factories increased just 1% year-on-year.

Ken Loo, secretary-general at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) told the news agency that the slowdown was due to rapid wage hikes, frequent strikes, political instability, and negative media coverage that have “damaged the competitiveness of Cambodian factories”.

Loo confirmed the 11-month buyer orders figure of 1 per cent but declined the Post’s request for comment.
(…)
Dave Welsh, country director for labour-rights group Solidarity Centre, contested GMAC’s reasoning that the downturn is due largely to the wage hikes and the early 2014 protests.

“The major calculation in this downturn is the horrendous press and the government’s response that ensued after the early 2014 protests,” Welsh said.
read more.
PPP new

(* The real reason is that the brands are NOT willing to pay a decent wage! )

20150210 * Commute deadly: gov’t:

20150210 PPP
Garment workers climb onto a transport truck in Phnom Penh last year.
More than 4,000 garment workers were injured in 2014 while travelling to and from work, according to a government report. Photo by Hong Menea.

Garment workers continue to die in traffic accidents on their way to and from the factory, a new report highlighting the deadly commute in Cambodia’s largest industry shows.

In the report, titled The Dangerous Journey of Garment Workers in 2014, the Ministry of Labour’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) says 73 people died in crashes last year, a slight rise from 67 in 2013. Preliminary government statistics indicate that at least 2,148 people died in traffic accidents overall last year in Cambodia.

While there were slightly fewer overall accidents in the garment industry, the number of injuries actually increased, from 4,703 in 2013 to 4,737 a year later.

Although trucks with standing-room only are often blamed for the spate of commuter deaths in the garment industry, the overwhelming majority of accidents involving workers last year – 2,669 – involved motorbikes, according to the report.
read more.
PPP new

20150206 * Union Leader Charged with Extortion:

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged Cambodian Labor Solidarity Union Federation president Sean Rithy with making threats and extortion on Thursday. Mr. Rithy was arrested on Tuesday while leading 100 garment factory workers during a strike in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district. 

The municipal police discovered 51 bamboo sticks inside the trunk of Mr. Rithy’s car after his arrest and they believed the protesters were going to use them as implements of violence in front of the garment factory.

Mr. Rithy refuted the claims that the sticks were meant to be used as weapons and stated that they were only to be used as poles to attach flags too.
read more.
KHMERTIMES

23:26:55 local time map of thailand THAILAND

20150208 * Thailand need to conclude FTA with Europe and also boost its textile production soon:

The EU has cut GSP privileges to several countries, including Thailand, since January 1 after the World Bank redefined them as upper-middle income countries from 2011 to 2013.

Due to which Thailand has to pay high duty as much as 12 percent now for products exported to the EU, impacting the country’s competitiveness with countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar which still enjoy GSP privileges.

Suttinee Poopaka, executive director of the Thailand Textile Institute at the seminar in Bangkok said that Thailand should quickly negotiate and conclude a Free Trade Area agreement with Europe in the absence of a Generalized System of Preferences offered by the European Union.

Vietnam currently holds an economic strategic partnership under the Trans-Pacific pact with the US and is opening an FTA with the EU. If it succeeds, Vietnam would enjoy a zero duty on its goods exported to the US and to the EU.
read more.
ynfxlogo

00:26:55 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

20150209 * Foreign Investors Canceled Plans for 16 Footwear Factories in Indonesia:

Aprisindo chairman: Issues with the minimum wage are worrying investors

Foreign investors, mostly South Korean and Japanese, last year canceled the construction of sixteen footwear factories worth a total Rp 4.8 trillion ($379 million), due to uncertainty over Indonesia’s minimum wage policy.

Minimum wage increases have fluctuated greatly in the past few years across the country, with local politicians often supporting workers’ demands at some point, only to back business interests later, depending on political needs.

“Issues with the minimum wage are worrying investors,” Eddy Widjanarko, chairman of Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo), said over the weekend.
read more.
jak-globe

22:56:55 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

20150207 * Wages not covering living costs, survey shows:

About 70 per cent of people have to sell their possessions to pay for health and education, according to a survey conducted by the team fixing the minimum wage.

That group raised more than 500 questions about the living costs in Shwepyitha Township.

The survey revealed that the monthly income of a household is between Ks100,000 and Ks200,000 while expenditure is at least Ks200,000.

“In a family of four, three have to go to work. Only the aged are left at home. The total income of those three has to be Ks200,000. There is an unbalanced ratio between income and expenditure due to travel fees, rent and other costs. The families where only one person works find it even more difficult. They have to sell off their belongings to pay for education and health,” said Tun Wai, who is a member of the team.

Shwepyitha is a largely working-class township.

A survey of living costs is being conducted in more than 20,000 households in 108 townships across the country, in order to fix the minimum wage.
to read.
Eleven

20150206 * Low Labor Cost Ranks Burma among Top Countries for Investment:

Burma has been named one of the five best countries in the world for cheap labor, making it much more attractive for manufacturing investment than neighbors China and Thailand.

“Businesses with supply chains and operations in [Burma], Bangladesh and Cambodia are benefiting from the world’s lowest labor costs,” a study by analysts Verisk Maplecroft said.

The business risk assessors’ Labor Costs Index measured a combination of wages, employment regulations, social security contributions and labor productivity to assess the cost-competitiveness of workforces in 172 countries.

Burma is ranked in the top five best places in the world for low labor costs by the index, which places China at 64th due to its rising wages.

Thailand is ranked 93rd in the index, where the higher the number the better the ranking in terms of labor competitiveness.

“China…has seen costs in the labor market rise rapidly in line with the country’s phenomenal economic progress. By contrast, key sourcing destinations that are increasingly replacing Chinese manufacturers in global supply chains perform very well in the index with [Burma] (ranked 171), Bangladesh (170) and Cambodia (169) all ranked among the five lowest-cost economies,” Verisk Maplecroft said.
read more.
IRRAWADDY

22:11:55 local time map of nepal NEPAL

20150208 * Fire in cotton factory guts property worth Rs. 3.3 mln:

Property worth around Rs. 3.3 million was reduced to rubbles when a massive fire broke out at a cotton factory, spread over three ropanis of land, in Anantlingeshwor Municipality-1 of Bhaktapur on Saturday night.

The fire that broke out at the cotton factory of Jeet Bahadur Khadka of Jiri-6, Dolakha, yesterday, was taken under control in the wee hours of Sunday.

Though the locals had tried to douse the fire immediately after the incident, they failed to contain the blaze as it quickly spread to all parts of the factory.

It has been learnt that the locals had pelted stones at a fire engine arguing that it came 45 minutes late although called so early.

Personnel from the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Nepal Army backed by the fire engines started to douse the fire at around 9:45 pm yesterday but managed to contain the fire at around 2 am today.

Police said that five truck cotton, raw materials and clothes among others were completely destroyed in the fire.
The cause behind the fire is yet to be established.
read more.
HIMALAYAN

22:26:55 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

20150210 * Vietnam likely to overtake Bangladesh in apparel exports by 2024 once TPP takes shape:

Political unrest might help the forecast be achieved faster than expected

20150210 * FDI in RMG—a boon or bane?:

While the government is trying to attract foreign investment, both within and outside the Export Processing Zones (EPZs), it does not apparently want to exclude any specific manufacturing sector from the prospect of such investment.

In fact, the government is particularly interested to lure relocation of factories from countries like China, Japan and Korea in the wake of the increasing wages in those countries on the one hand and on the other, their search for suitable locations for both relocation and setting up of export-oriented industries.

Given the wage scenario and abundant workforce (with its easily trainable credentials), Bangladesh, despite many of its perennial odds, is a location of choice for them. And of all the sectors of manufacturing, apparel making, Bangladesh’s key area of expertise, has reasons to attract overseas investors.

The gains, observers believe, will be multiplier across a range of business activities for the investors. The obvious question now is: will this badly hit the local industry?

Media reports say there is a move to facilitate foreign investment in readymade garment (RMG) industry outside the export processing zones (EPZs).

The initiative, which is still under process, has already been opposed by the local apparel manufacturers and exporters. Understandably, the government will have to settle the matter, first, with the local manufacturers and find a way out to reassure them about their future prospects.
read more.
FE bd

20150208 * Jhut warehouse catches fire in Gazipur:

A fire broke out in a jhut (garment rags) warehouse in Aambagh area of the city early Sunday.

Fire service officials and witnesses said the fire broke out at the jhut warehouse in the area around 4.00am and soon engulfed the entire warehouse and four adjacent shops.
On information, a firefighting unit from fire station rushed in and doused the blaze after one hour of frantic efforts.
The reason behind the fire could not be known immediately.
to read. & read more.
UNBnew NEWAGEnew

20150210 * RMG inspection, Labour Act rules to be completed by April:

‘US, EU, Canada satisfied over BD’s progress’

Inspection of all ready-made garment (RMG) factories and the rules regarding Bangladesh Labour Act and export processing zone (EPZ) law will be completed by April, a high official said.

“The inspection of RMG units and finalisation of the rules on Bangladesh Labour Act and export processing zone (EPZ) law will be completed by April,” Ministry of Commerce (MoC) Senior Secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon told the FE.

He said this after a three plus five informal group meeting on sustainability compact in RMG sector with the envoys of the US, Canada and some countries of the European Union (EU) at the ministry conference room.

“We informed the envoys about various measures taken for development of the sector, including the workers hotline as well as the progress on recruitment of inspectors for RMG factories.”
read more.
FE bd

20150205 * UNC signs accord for BD worker safety:

UNC-Chapel Hill announced Thursday that it would require all companies that produce UNC apparel to sign an accord governing worker safety in Bangladesh.

The university said it would require UNC logo gear to be made by companies that sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh — instead of the separate Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The Alliance is supported by major companies such as Wal-Mart, Gap, Target and Greensboro-based VF Corp., parent company of Wrangler.

Activists and worker safety advocates have stated their strong preference for the Accord, considered to have more stringent requirements. It includes independent safety inspections at factories and public reporting of those inspections.

“This decision reaffirms our commitment to worker safety in Bangladesh and clarifies our position on the requirements for licensees that make UNC-logoed clothing in Bangladesh,” said a statement by Chancellor Carol Folt, who added that the university would closely monitor worker safety issues.
read more. & read more.
&NewsObserver FE bd

20150210 * Firms to conduct engineering analysis of RMG factories:

Criteria for carrying out DEA sought

The government is expected to select a number of engineering firms to conduct detailed engineering analysis (DEA) of readymade garment factories that have already been and are to be assessed under the National Tripartite Plan of Action, officials said.

In this connection, the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) will seek applications from the interested firms through advertisement next week, they added.

“The first meeting of the taskforce held last week decided to nominate some engineering firms that have expertise to carry out DEA,” Syed Ahmed Inspector General of DIFE told the FE.
read more.
FE bd

20150208 * Genetically Modified cotton, other crops soon: Matia:

The minister for agriculture, Matia Chowdhury on Sunday said that the country will start farming Bt cotton (genetically modified variety of cotton) from next year.
‘The government will continue its efforts to continue cultivating other genetically modified crops in the country,’ she told a seminar on ‘Bio-technology’ held at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council at Farm-gate in the city this morning.
She said there is no alternative to start producing GM crops for making the country self-reliant in food production.
to read.
NEWAGEnew

20150210 * Exporters now turn to expensive air shipment:

Blockade, hartal hike up export cost

Air shipment of readymade garments and other exportable has sharply increased in recent times as businesses turned to this costly alternative for the non-stop countrywide transport blockade and frequent hartals, insiders said.

They said the exporters now opted for air shipment to meet tight delivery deadlines, although the export cost by air is 13 times higher than that of sea freight.

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) data, the cost of exporting goods by ocean vessels is only 30-32 US cents per kg, but the rate runs as high as $4 per kg in case of airfreight.

The data also showed that the apparel sector counted Tk 500 million more in last 34 days due to the countrywide blockade and hartals called by the BNP and its allies over political problems with the government.
read more.
FE bd

20150209 * B’desh business community protests $10 billion losses:

Thousands of business leaders protested in the Bangladesh capital today against a month-long campaign of anti-government violence that they say has cost the economy nearly $10 billion.

Garment factory owners and other business leaders joined hands and waved national flags in Dhaka and other major cities, calling for an end to the opposition-led strikes and nationwide transport blockade.

Protesters told the Dhaka rally the economy suffered 750 billion taka ($10 billion) in losses in the 33 days since opposition leader Khaleda Zia called the protests to try to topple the government.

“We’ve seen with great concern that non-stop blockade and strikes since the beginning of the year have crippled the economy,” said Kazi Akram Uuddin Ahmed, president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

“This situation can’t go on any more. The businessmen’s backs are now on the wall.”

The garment sector, the mainstay of the economy, has alone lost nearly $4 billion as the campaign halts exports to western retailers who are being forced to look to other countries to fill orders, he said.
read more.
HIMALAYAN

20150209 * A garment maker’s plight:

Afroz Al Mamun, owner of a leading garment group, said his factories had bagged work orders worth $20 million during January-March last year.

So far this year, he received orders of $8.5 million, far below his expectations.

International retailers who source clothes from his company are slashing orders as they fear Mamun will not be able to deliver in time as the ongoing blockade disrupted the supply chain.

Mamun shared the figures of the losses he incurred so far with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the apparel makers’ platform. He insisted his company should not be named in the media.

A total of 23 factories have already lost $19.02 million between January 14 and February 1, according to an assessment by the BGMEA.

Mamun is running his three factories below capacity. Also, retailers are cutting trips to his factories due to political violence.
read more.
daily star bd

20150208 * Handloom silk business incurs huge losses:

Owners of silk cloth making handlooms at different villages in Sadar and Shibganj upazilas under the district are incurring huge losses due to non-stop countrywide blockade enforced by BNP-led 20-party alliance since January 6.

Hundreds of handloom workers have also become temporarily jobless, as many owners stopped production due to problem in sending the cloths to Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi and other places.
read more.
daily star bd

20150208 * Apparel export to US slips in 2014:

The country’s apparel export to the United States fell by 2.29 per cent to $4.83 billion in 2014 from $4.94 billion in 2013 amid increase in competitive edge of Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka.

Experts and exporters said the US buyers shifted orders from Bangladeshi factories that run business on shared buildings due to compliance issue.

On the other hand, Bangladesh’s competitor countries gained more space in the US market due to depreciation of their currencies against the US dollar.

Vietnam’s export earnings from readymade garments to the US market increased by 14.06 per cent to $9.26 billion in 2014 against $8.12 billion in 2013, according to US Commerce Department data released last week.

The data showed that the India’s apparel export to the US rose by 5.89 per cent to $3.40 billion in the period against $3.21 billion in 2013.

Apparel export earnings of Sri Lanka to the US increased by 6.68 per cent to $1.75 billion in 2014 against $1.64 billion in 2013, according to the US data.

Two factors — external and domestic — are active behind the negative export growth to the US market, Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue, told New Age on Saturday.
‘Recently the currencies of some of our competitors like Vietnam and Sri Lanka depreciated against the dollar and so the buyers are feeling more comfortable in importing apparels from those countries,’ he said.
read more.
NEWAGEnew

20150207 * Bangladesh RMG exports grow 1.91%:

The exports of readymade garments (RMG) from the country are growing at a slow but steady pace over the past two months, data from the Export Promotion Bureau shows.

In the first seven months of the ongoing fiscal year that commenced on 1 July, 2014, garment exports clocked US$ 14.444 billion, registering an increase of 1.91 per cent over exports of $14.173 billion during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Category-wise, knitwear exports grew by 2.62 per cent to $7.177 billion during the July-January 2014-15, over exports of $6.994 billion made during the corresponding months of the previous fiscal, the data showed.
read more.
banglanews24NEW

20150203 * Labour’s right at stake:

Human Rights Watch in world report 2015 summarises the key human rights issues in different countries of the world.

Among those we addressed the area of labour rights in the context of Bangladesh. April marked one year since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building, in which over 1,100 garment workers died and an estimated 2,500 were injured.

Six months prior, a deadly factory fire at Tazreen Fashions killed at least 112 people. Survivors and relatives reported that they continue to suffer from life-changing injuries, psychological trauma, and lost income.

After the Rana Plaza accident, a compensation fund set up through the International Labour Organization (ILO) was designed to raise US$40 million. But one year later, only $15 million had been raised, with most funds coming from just one company.

After the Rana Plaza tragedy, the Bangladesh government and Western retailers set up an inspection regime for more than 3,500 garment factories to ensure structural integrity and fire and electrical safety.
A group of North American retailers inspected about 587 factories. A second body, formed by mainly European retailers, inspected 1,545 factories.

While they published details of their inspections, at time of writing, the government had not published information on the remaining inspections it had conducted.
The government amended its labour laws to make it easier for workers to form and join unions. However, workers said they continued to face tremendous pressure including intimidation, mistreatment, and even death threats from managers, not to do so.

Workers in the tanneries of Hazaribagh, a residential area in Dhaka, continue to suffer from highly toxic and dangerous working conditions.
Although some tanneries have begun to build new premises at a dedicated industrial zone in Savar, their planned relocation continued to be delayed.
Residents of nearby slums complain of illnesses caused by the extreme tannery pollution of air, water, and soil.
The government continues its de facto policy of not enforcing labour and environmental laws with respect to the Hazaribagh tanneries.
read more.
daily star bd

    THE RANA PLAZA COLLAPSE

20150207 * Rana Plaza, Tazreen victims demand compensation:

20150207 DAILYSTAR
Families of garment workers who died in the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire, and injured workers at a human chain beside Dhaka-Aricha highway yesterday, demanding compensation, treatment, and rehabilitation of workers who have become disabled, and also punishment for the accused responsible persons. Photo: Star

Relatives of garment workers who died in the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire and the injured workers formed a human chain beside the Dhaka-Aricha highway at Savar bus stand yesterday, demanding compensation.

The demonstrators formed the human chain under the banners “Rana Plaza Garment Workers’ Union” and “Tazreen Fashions Garment Workers’ Union”.

Nasima Akter, a victim of Tazreen Fashions fire, said it has been over two years since the fire occurred but she is yet to be compensated.

“We cannot pay for food much less other necessities after losing our source of income,” she said breaking down in tears.

She added that they are living inhuman lives.

Jorina Akter, president of Tazreen Fashions Garment Workers’ Union and a victim herself, said the victims need compensation immediately.

“Families of those who died are living very miserable lives after losing their breadwinners, and those who were injured cannot work anymore,” she said.
read more.
daily star bd

INDIA- BANGLADESH

20150209 * Toxic, Deadly Tanneries:

In the wee hours of the morning on January 31,  in the worst tannery disaster industry’s history in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a deluge of toxic sludge from a storage tank killed nine sleeping workers and a watchman.

The Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association said the tank explosion was due to poor construction and they are demanding 10 lakh rupees (US$16,200) compensation for the victims.

For those less familiar with the tanning industry, this photo-essay provides an overall picture of the tanning process in India, in which workers turn cowhides into leather ready for making purses, coats, shoes, and other products.

To the east, in Bangladesh, the leather tanning business has many similarities. There, too, workers and the surrounding communities face major health risks as a result of the tanneries. A powerful video published by Aljazeera last week takes a look at the industry:
read & see more.
ILRFnew

21:56:55 local time map of india INDIA

20150210 * 25 bonded child labourers rescued in city:

As many as 25 boys working as bonded labour were rescued from a bangle-making factory in Khajua locality of the city here on Monday evening.

Aging between 8-14 years most of these boys hail from villages in Bihar and were making bangles in hazardous conditions for the past three years.

They were all living in a ten-by-ten room besides being made to work illegally.
They boys claimed they were never given enough to eat and were made to work for 12-14 hours a day for a meager Rs 1,500 a month.
There were no off-days and health facilities.

The boys were rescued in a joint operation undertaken by state police department’s Anti-Human Trafficking cell and social organisation Childline.
Besides saving the boys, the team recovered dangerous chemicals compounds which are known to cause pulmonary infections like tuberculosis from the place.
read more.
TOInew

20150208 * FOSTTA agrees to support eradication of child labor:

In a meeting held with officials of District task force, National Child labor project society and Child labor rehabilitation and welfare project, office bearers of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA) have committed to provide full support to eradicate child labor from their business.

FOSTTA, a representative body of more than 70,000 textile traders in the city called for a meeting of its members on Sunday and informed all of them to stay away from hiring any form of child labor.

Sawarlal Budhiya , president of FOSTTA said, ” We will make sure that all our contractors are also informed not hire any child laborers and see to that even by ignorance no one hires child laborers in any type of work.”
read more.
TOInew

20150208 * 3 held for Ranipet effluent tank crash that left 10 dead:

The Crime Branch CID on Saturday arrested three people in connection with the Ranipet industrial accident in which 10 workers were killed when an unauthorised storage tank of a common effluent treatment plant collapsed and watery sludge entered the adjacent tannery where they were sleeping.

The arrested were identified as the Ranipet Sidco Finished Leather Effluent Treatment Company managing director Amirthakatesan and directors Jayachandran and Subramaniyan.
They were booked on charges of criminal negligence that led to the death of 10 workers. CB-CID, which took over the investigation, has roped in experts from Anna University and Forensic Science Lab, Chennai to probe into its technical aspects.
read more.
TOInew

20150210 * Additional funds sought for TUFS:

The technical textile industry was registering an annual growth of 11 per cent, and it was expected to grow at about 20 per cent by 2017.

The Union Ministry of Textiles has sought additional funds for the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) in the current financial year, Textile Commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta said here on Monday.

Ms. Gupta told The Hindu that apart from the budgetary allocation this fiscal, Rs.1,500 crore was required for applications that had been received already and had bank sanction for the project, and also for applications that would be received till the end of this financial year.
The total allocation for the scheme in the XII Plan was about Rs.11,900 crore.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150210 * Plan to expand power loom upgradation scheme to more clusters:

The In-Situ Upgradation Scheme for Plain Power Looms has been extended to Salem and Erode power loom clusters and enables weavers modernise the plain power looms, according to Textile Commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta.

The scheme helped even a small-scale weaver use technology and produce better products. It was now available for units that had maximum eight looms each and only in select power loom clusters.
“We have requested that the scheme should be expanded pan India and should be available to all power loom units, irrespective of the number of looms,” she said.
The scheme had been approved for Erode and Salem power loom clusters too.

It helped the weavers go in for other benefits available for power looms. For instance, there were 10 proposals from Coimbatore to set up yarn banks and two had been approved.
The weavers could be organised as a group and a company could be formed to make use of assistance available from the Small Industries’ Development Bank of India.

There were 23 lakh power looms in the country and just about 1.75 lakh were modernised.
China had machinery manufacturing facilities and capacity to produce large volume of textile products.
Almost 95% of textile machinery was imported in India.
This was an area of opportunity for entrepreneurs.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150208 * Powerloom weavers will get yarn at concessional rate with the setting up of India’s first yarn bank:

The Union ministry of textiles to provide powerloom weavers yarn at concessional rate has formed two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) namely Ved Road Art Silk Small Scale Cooperative Federation Limited and Pandesara Weavers Cooperative Society Limited for setting up India’s first yarn bank under the Integrated Scheme for Powerloom Sector Development ( ISPSD).

With the initial corpus fund of Rs 1 crore each, of which 50 percent allocated by the central government and 50 percent by the SPV these yarn banks will start for purchasing yarn from the open market and selling at concessional rates to its initial 1,000 member weavers.

With the setting up of yarn banks at the powerloom clusters of Ved Road and Pandesara, hundreds of small and medium powerloom weavers in Surat, the largest man-made fabric ( MMF) centre of India will have direct access to polyester yarn at concessional rates.
read more.
ynfxlogo

20150208 * Ready-made garments export under scanner for tax scheme misuse:

Export of ready-made garments has come under the scanner of central revenue intelligence officials for alleged misuse of a government facility to reimburse taxes incurred in manufacturing of exported goods.

Ready-made garments have traditionally been among the evasion-prone commodities. Some instances of alleged misuse of the government’s duty drawback scheme by some ready-made garments exporters have been spotted by the officials and are being looked into, official sources said.

The duty drawback scheme is aimed at promoting export by compensating all duties or taxes embedded in cost of manufacture of exported goods.

The exporters have been allegedly misusing the scheme as there is difficulty in ascertaining the market value of the ready-made garments being exported. An exporter may quote higher price on a low quality ready-made garments to claim higher reimbursement, the sources said, explaining the reason behind such evasion.
read more.
et

20150207 * CITU appeal to revise indices:

The CITU State committee has urged the government to revise the standard of living indices to facilitate revision of minimum wages.

The committee has decided to hold a march to the Secretariat on February 13 to press its demand.
The decision to revise the indices, which were last revised with 1998-99 as the base year, was taken by the then LDF government.
to read.
THEHINDU

20150208 * Textile cluster to be set up in Mysore to soon turn into reality:

The cluster for textiles proposed to be set up in Mysore to turn into reality as the land has been identified for the proposed cluster at Srirampura, on the outskirts of the city which falls within the Mysore Parliamentary constituency and with the Union minister of state for textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar inspecting the proposed site to set up the cluster early next week.

Centre has released Rs 28 crore for the textile mega cluster project in Mysore which is expected to boost investment in the region and create jobs.

Mysore is already famous for its silk products and was also well-known for its now defunct textile mills, the Sri Krishnarajendra Textile Mills, set up during the reign of the Maharajas that gave employment to a large number of people. Cotton is cultivated in the region, including in the H D Kote taluk.
read more.
ynfxlogo

20150207 * Textile cluster to get off the ground:

The Union government’s plan to set up a textile cl uster in the city is inching closer to reality with the Union minister of state for textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar inspecting the proposed site to set up the cluster early next week.

The authorities have located land in Srirampura even as the Centre has released Rs 28 crore for the project. The minister will inspect the site and review the project, which is expected to boost investment in the region and create jobs.
read more.
TOInew

20150207 * Textile units seek excise duty cut on synthetic fibre:

In a move to boost use of synthetic fibre, the textile industry has sought excise duty reduction on all manmade fibre and filament to 6 per cent from the existing 12 per cent.

In a pre-budget memorandum, the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry has suggested that the government should reduce the excise duty and to cover the revenue loss, it should introduce two per cent mandatory excise duty on all value added products that are manmade fibre-based.

Globally, manmade fibre accounts for 70 per cent of the fibre consumption. However, in India, it is less than 30 per cent.
read more.
THEHINDU

20150209 * India to see drop in cotton cultivation by 15% over low price and lower demand:

India’s cotton cultivation is estimated to drop by 20 percent in 2015-16 if low price and lower demand continue to remain will discourage farmers to reduce cotton cultivation, after having witnessed a year of record production.

In 2014-15, cotton area under cultivation was around 13 mn hectares about 1.5 mn hectares higher than the previous year.

While global demand for cotton and cotton yarn dropped in recent months, cotton prices also dipped owing to lack of good quality cotton in the market.

In fact prices fell due to several reasons, including oversupply and reduced demand. Add to that, prices also fell due to non-availability of good quality cotton. This has discouraged farmers heavily.
If the situation remains more or less the same till April, cotton cultivation for 2015-16 in India could fall by 15-20 per cent, said Arun Dalal, a leading cotton trader and exporter.
read more.
ynfxlogo

21:56:55 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

20150208 * Trade union in Sri Lanka calls for the report on the probe into the killing of a FTZ worker in 2011:

A trade union in Sri Lanka has called on the new government to release the report compiled by former High Court Judge Mahanama Tillekeratne after probing the killing of free trade zone (FTZ) worker, Roshen Chanaka.

Roshen Chanaka was killed on May 31, 2011 during a protest by FTZ workers against the proposed private sector pension plan which they alleged would result in the former government plundering into funds of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Head of the FTZ workers’ union, Anton Marcus has told the media that a letter has already been written to the office of President Maithripala Sirisena about the matter since the earlier administration had apparently kept the report in limbo for the past several years.
read more.
colombo

20150208 * Top trade union disappointed with Lankan budget, urges Rs. 5000 wage hike for private sector:

A top trade union grouping has slammed the new Government’s interim budget saying six million private sector workers should be given a Rs. 5,000 wage hike without linking the increase to productivity.

“The 6 million plus private sector workers should be given the Rs.5,000 wage increase without in any way linking it to productivity and as earlier demanded through a Parliament Act for which there are precedents, not merely because they are voters in the coming election, but because they too have a right to a decent human life in this country,” said Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary of the FTZ and GSEU in a statement to the media.

While welcoming sections of the budget in terms of the relief provided to consumers, the union said that in spite of these benefits “we regret to note this budget is one wholly insensitive to the drudgery of 6 million plus private sector employees who directly contribute to production in this country”.
read more.
STM-long

20150208 * ‘Much potential in leather industry’:

The footwear and leather industry in Sri Lanka has been identified as a value added manufacturing sector that has taken up the role of generating export revenue and employment opportunities.

“It is necessary to strengthen and sustain the image of the footwear and leather industry as it has the potential to become a vital component in the export revenue basket,” said Sri Lanka Export Development Board Chairman Bandula Egodage at the launch of the Footwear and Leather Fair 2015 at the BMICH on Friday.

This is the seventh edition of the fair.

“The abilities of the industry need to be showcased to attract buyers, local and international, to generate more revenue. Technological advancement could be made use of to take the industry to the next level,” he said.

“As two key aspects of exports are value addition and market diversification, we need to make the footwear and leather industry a thrust industry to generate export income.

The industry has generated US $ 100 million in exports last year, a 100 percent growth compared to the previous year and with more capital infusion, the industry could reach a higher level,” Egodage said. The Fair which concludes today has 225 stalls with 114 local and 11 foreign participants. Among the foreign countries represented are India, Pakistan and Nepal.
read more.
SUNDAY OBSERVER

20150208 * Footwear, Leather Exports Double Within One Year:

Sri Lanka’s footwear and leather exports have doubled within a short period of one year and posted the highest revenues so far in recent times.

According to Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, the USD 51 million export revenue in 2013 from this sector have more than doubled in 2014 to USD 110 million showing this sector’s strong revenue potential.

“This performance supports the export promotion efforts of the 100-day program of President Maithripala Sirisena as well,” said Minister Bathiudeen on Friday, February 06 in Colombo addressing the seventh edition of annual Footwear and Leather Fair organized by EDB and held at BMICH, Colombo.
read more.
sunday-leader

21:26:55 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

20150206 * Protection of women: More committees formed for harassment at workplace:

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has finally stepped in, after a meeting of the provincial watch committee was called for the second time since the harassment at the workplace act was promulgated in 2010.

Not many have heard of the provincial watch committee which was created to expedite the implementation of the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010. The Act was passed at the federal level and is yet to be absorbed by the provincial law book.

According to insiders, the meeting on February 3 was the only one held after the committee’s first one in June 2014.

At the meeting, the government decided to form monitoring and capacity-building committees as well as harassment watch committees at the district level. The Act itself focuses on inquiry committees at all public and private companies—not just government departments—and makes it mandatory to have a provincial ombudsmen.

It was acknowledged harassment was being reported but was not being investigated. Even if there was some enquiry, insiders said those involved in the crime are never brought to justice.

“Yes, we have received several complaints. Majority of them are from the industrial area where working women are being harassed,” an official privy to the matter told The Express Tribune. “Nurses in hospitals also complain of harassment.”
read more.

20150210 * Textile exports to be raised to $26bn in 5 years:

Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi on Monday said the country’s exports of textile sector would be raised from current volume of $ 13 billion to $26 billion per year in five years.

Announcing the new textile policy 2014-19 in a press briefing here, the minister said the government would shift focus from exporting raw material to value added products as this approach would not only boost the economy but also help create millions of new employment opportunities.

“For increasing value-added products in the country, along with other measures, the government would also provide training to 120,000 people who will get a handsome stipend during their training period”, he added.
read more.
daily times PK

20150210 * Policy (2014-19): ambitious textile goals unveiled:

The government on Monday announced the Textile Policy (2014-19), envisaging to double textiles exports from the current level of $13 billion to $26 billion over the next five years, besides creation of 3 million new jobs.

The implementation of policy requires a financial package of around Rs 65 billion in five years, said federal minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi while addressing a press conference.

The finance division will provide Rs 40.6 billion, whereas the rest of over Rs 23 billion will be arranged through Planning Commission and Export Development Fund.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER daily times PK NATIONnew

20150210 * Textile exports: PBEA chief refutes minister’s claim:

Pakistan Bedwear Exports Association’s (PBEA) chairman Shabir Ahmed has refuted claim of Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir that the textile exports have increased by $1 billion due to EU’s GSP Plus status.

He said that the minister’s claim did not match with the statistics of exports provided by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) as the latter’s figures indicated a decline in textile exports.

He said that although the minister has recently claimed that textile exports have registered an increase of $1 billion after getting GSP Plus status, textile exports in spite of Pakistan’s major foreign exchange earner, was constantly declining.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

20150209 * Exports to EU increased by $1bn under GSP-plus status: minister:

Pakistani exports to the European Union increased by more than a billion dollars after a landmark trade deal last year which made its products more competitive, the minister for commerce said.

The EU signed a law in late 2013 granting Pakistan the `GSP-plus’ status, which means firms pay no tax on certain categories of goods exported to the 27-nation bloc for 10 years.

The EU makes GSP-plus conditional on implementing international conventions on human and labour rights, and there have been fears Pakistan’s decision to end a moratorium on executions could affect the deal.

Pakistan’s textile industry in particular welcomed the agreement, which came into force in January 2014, and in an interview Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan hailed its impact.
read more.
DAWNnew

20150207-09 * EU trade deal boosts Pakistan exports by $1bn, says minister:

Pakistani exports to the European Union increased by more than a billion dollars after a landmark trade deal last year which made its products more competitive, the commerce minister told AFP.

The EU signed a law in late 2013 granting Pakistan so-called “GSP-plus” status, which means firms pay no tax on certain categories of goods exported to the 27-nation bloc for 10 years.

The EU makes GSP-plus conditional on implementing international conventions on human and labour rights, and there have been fears Pakistan’s decision to end a moratorium on executions could affect the deal.

Pakistan’s key textile industry in particular welcomed the agreement, which came into force in January 2014, and in an interview with AFP commerce minister Khurram Dastgir Khan hailed its impact.
read more. & read more. & read more.
thenewspk

20150209 * Conciliation of diverse interests:

20150209 DAWN

A good economic policy must strike the right balance between conflicting interests, encourage investment and protect jobs.

In Pakistan, however, government policies on most economic issues entrench conflicts between the differing interests, instead of narrowing the gap between the lobbies representing them. This is because most decisions are made under political pressure of one lobby or another, instead of on the basis of economic rationale.

In 2010, for example, the government imposed a temporary quota on yarn exports under pressure from garment producers despite the monthly yarn production surplus of 60,000 tonnes. The idea was to compel yarn producers to cut their domestic prices. While the restrictions did hurt spinners a little bit, they didn’t help reduce domestic prices because of a global shortage and higher prices.

The quota controls were lifted once the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) effectively lobbied the country’s top political leadership against it. In the process, textile minister Rana Farooq lost his job. Investors’ trust in the government was shaken because it had allowed the free trade mechanism to be breached for political gains.
read more.
DAWNnew

20150208 * Value-added textile sector, spinners at loggerheads:

The value-added textile sector and spinners, two powerful lobbies, are testing the nerves of policy makers in Islamabad over the issue of cotton import.

Both sides are putting up their cases forcefully to convince the government to support their position. While leaders of value-added textile sector are seeking withdrawal of 5 per cent duty on import of cotton yarn, the spinners lobby All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) strongly opposes it.

The leaders of value-added sector under the umbrella of Pakistan Apparel Forum (PAF), a platform of 12 trade bodies, argue that globally import of raw material is allowed duty free while exports of raw material is restricted.

However, Aptma believes that heavily subsidised Indian fine count cotton yarn is causing grave harm to 30 local producers of yarn and the government should immediately impose 15pc regulatory duty. They quoted figures to show the surge in import of fine count cotton yarn from India.
read more.
DAWNnew

20150208 * Cotton market steady amid selective buying:

The cotton market was steady on Satur­day as buyers faced with shortage covered up their position with quality lint.

Floor brokers said higher cotton export figures for the outgoing week released by the US Department of Agriculture induced buying from leading spinners.

As the current cotton season is drawing to a close, the flow of phutti (seed cotton) from cotton fields into ginneries has slowed down. Consequently, millers are faced with a problem of getting quality lint, brokers added.
read more.
DAWNnew

20150209 * Aptma’s clarification about import of cotton yarn from India:

A spokesman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has clarified that Aptma has demanded 15 percent Regulatory Duty on import of subsidised fine count cotton yarn, predominantly from India, without disturbing the DTRE scheme or import under manufacturing bond.

He said the official data suggests that Pakistan produces 200,000 tons fine count cotton yarn annually, out of which only 65000 tons is exported while 135,000 tons is consumed in the domestic market.
However, India has offered 10 percent rebate on export of fine count cotton yarn simply to dump it in domestic commerce of Pakistan.
The future of 30 mills manufacturing fine count cotton yarn is at stake and employment of hundreds and thousands of workers is under threat, he added.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

20150209 * Indian yarn triggers considerable controversy:

The value-added and spinning textile sectors have locked horn on the withdrawal/imposition of a Regulatory Duty (RD) on the import of Indian yarn and started lobbying at different forums to achieve the objective, it is learnt.

Official sources revealed to Business Recorder that spinning sector is lobbying to impose a 15 percent RD on Indian yarn on the plea to save domestic market while value-added textile sector is vying for a free market mechanism.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has approached the Ministry of Textile Industry and Ministry of Finance for imposing safeguards on the import of Indian yarn into Pakistan.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

20150207 * Import of cotton yarn: PHM&EA urges government to withdraw 5 % duty:

Associations of value added textile sector on Friday urged the government to immediately withdraw the five per cent duty on import of cotton yarn and save the country’s ‘largest’ foreign exchange earning sector from being collapsed.

“It is really surprising that our business-friendly government is not providing any relief to the vital value added textile sector which is presently suffering huge losses, while it is protecting the already profit-making spinning sector,” said a spokesman for value added textile associations, Muhammad Javed Bilwani, at a news conference held here on Friday at Pakistan Hosiery Manufactures and Exporters Association (PHMA) House.
read more. & read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER thenewspk

20150208 * PYMA concerned over huge import of cotton yarn from India:

Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association (PYMA) has expressed grave concern over excessive import of cotton yarn from India and termed it a deep conspiracy to destroy the Pakistani yarn industry.

These apprehensions were expressed by Central Chairman Qaisar Shamas Guccha, Zonal Chairman Muhammad Akram Pasha, and Zonal Vice-Chairman Adnan Zahid Butt while talking to media persons here on Saturday.

They said that Indian government is providing rupees 26.72 per kilogram incentives to its exporters. In view of these incentives the Indian cotton yarn became vary cheap for export to Pakistani market.
read more. & read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER NATIONnew

20150207 * Aptma seeks 15% duty on Indian cotton yarn import:

All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman S.M. Tanveer has sought imposition of 15 per cent regulatory duty on fine count cotton yarn from India to discourage such imports.

Import of fine counts cotton yarn from India has surged to 30,000 tonnes as against 6,500 tonnes in 2012, he said while speaking to manufacturers.

Such imports, he said, are hurting 30 local producers who have already expressed concern over arrival of subsidised Indian fine count cotton yarn.

India, he said, is capturing Pakistan’s domestic market by design as the end product of fine counts cotton yarn is meant for domestic consumption. India may start dumping processed fabric in case no action is taken to check the trend, he further said.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
DAWNnew thenewspk BUSINESSRECORDER daily times PK

20150207 * Yarn import: Textile exporters seek abolition of duty :

In response to the government’s suggestion to increase import duty, exporters of finished textile products on Friday urged the government to not only drop the proposal but also abolish the existing 5% import duty on cotton yarn.

The demand came at a press conference that was attended by the leaders of different value-added textile associations at the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) office here.

PHMA Chairman Muhammad Jawed Bilwani said that spinning companies (yarn makers) were making profits and there is no report of any closures while the value-added textile industries have been suffering huge losses.
read more.

20150210 * APTPMA criticises government measures:

All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) has criticised the government for suspension of gas supply to the textile industry for unspecified period, saying it is equal to stabbing the industry in the back.

It may be noted that gas supply to the Punjab-based industry has been suspended after completion of 60 days of winter.
The government has resumed gas supply to Roche Power Plant from Monday, a situation that has perturbed the textile industry throughout Punjab.
read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER

20150210 * Suspension of gas supply to adversely affect textiles’ output: PTEA:

Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has criticised government for suspension of gas to textile industry in Punjab, terming the move unilateral and arrogant.

The prime minister should intervene and restore gas supply to precious forex earning sector as this would lead to missing export orders, capital flight, labour lay-off, worsening of law and order and decline in revenue.

Criticising the decision, Sohail Pasha Chairman and Rizwan Riaz Saigal, Vice-Chairman of the Association said that sudden cut in gas supply would push the textile industry to the wall that was already facing huge problems owing to the high input cost and other issues.
read more. & read more. & read more.
BUSINESSRECORDER NATIONnew

20150131 * Refunds of Rs20b stuck, says PRGMEA chief:

20150131 TRIBUNE
to read.

        THE BALDIA FACTORY FIRE

20150210 * SHC orders Baldia factory fire trial to be completed within one year:

Sindh High Court on Tuesday ordered for the Baldia factory fire trail to be completed within one year.

The factory owner had put forward an appeal for the trial to be completed before one year, however his request was turned down by the judges. Judges further observed that it was up to the trial court to scrutinise the JIT report.

The factory owner had also requested to become a respondent in the case following the release of the release of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report.

Reports have also disclosed that there is a case of illegal arms against the suspect Rizwan Qureshi  who had disclosed alleged involvement of the MQM in the incident during interrogation.
read more.

20150210 * Political circus:

The Baldia factory fire in which 258 labourers lost their lives in 2012 is a case that has taken on another shocking dimension.

A report released by the Rangers Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to the Sindh High Court has alleged that the factory was set on fire on purpose by MQM workers because the owner of the factory refused to pay bhatta (extortion) money to the party.

These are the kind of charges that can cause immense damage to Altaf Hussain’s party; the intentional murder of 258 people by a mainstream political party is not something that can easily be swallowed, even by the most hardened of nations.

The MQM has, expectedly, denied these claims going as far as to say that the accused ‘worker’ who has been named in the report is not actually an MQM worker and that he should be hanged in public if found to be behind the atrocity.
So, not only is the MQM distancing itself from these flammable accusations, it is also disowning the main culprit.
read more.
daily times PK

20150209-10 * Heirs of Baldia factory fire victims to sue German retailer:

Last year, Muhammad Ali finally bought a small house in the congested Muslim Mujahid Colony where his family resided for a year as tenants.

When the day final payment was made, he sobbed.
To this day he cries while talking about it, perhaps because it was a parting gift from his son who had died in the Baldia factory over two years ago.

Now, the families of those who died, have decided in principle to sue the German retailer who sourced products from the ill-fated factory.

Like any other household in this part of Karachi’s Baldia Town, located on the fringes of Site Industrial Estate; men receive minimum wages for doing odd jobs in factories, as machine attendants in day time and driving taxis after sunset.

With this never-ending struggle to put food on the dastarkhwaan, owning a small bare-bricked house remained a luxury, especially when most of the household income is spent on medicines for old parents.

Hence, those living on rented premises often miss out on their payments. And when that happens, the landlord harasses them. Ali’s case was no different.
(…)

Pakistan’s National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) Deputy General Secretary Nasir Mansoor said the amount converted into between Rs450,000 and Rs500,000 per household.

“But that was just an interim compensation. When the agreement was signed the company had promised a bigger package.”

By its own account KiK was the single largest purchaser from Ali Enterprise, buying 75% of the garments manufactured in Karachi – a fact that has raised lawyers’ hopes.

KiK was also one of the many international retailers doing business with factories housed in Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza building, which collapsed in April 2013, killing over 1,000 workers.

But in that case, involvement of multiple discount stores based in different countries has made legal proceedings difficult.

There is another side of the equation. In countries like Pakistan where textile remains the backbone of the economy, employing the largest chunk of workforce and a reduction in fresh orders can have far-reaching consequences.
read more. & read more and see video.

20150210 * Baldia factory fire: PTI, MQM in a war of words:

Amid an escalating war of words between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), leaders of the two rival parties unleashed a fresh barrage of accusations against each other on Monday.

PTI chairman Imran Khan used the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report into the 2012 deadly blaze at a garment factory in Karachi’s Baldia Town to launch a frontal attack on the MQM. He called upon the government to set aside political expediencies and take action against the party.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should shun political expediencies and take action against the MQM,” Imran said while speaking at a news conference at his residence in Bani Gala on the edge of Islamabad.
read more.

20150209 * Call for action against Karachi factory fire accused:

The killing of 258 workers in a garments factory fire in Baldia Town Karachi in an alleged terrorism act has been highlighted by an independent inquiry after one year of the tragic incident.

The accused of the killings should be tried under Anti-Terrorism Act and given exemplary punishment for their crime against innocent workers with the greed of Bhutta (extortion). This statement was issued by trade union leader Khurshid Ahmad, general-secretary of All Pakistan Workers Confederation on Sunday. He declared that the investigation highlighted how innocent workers were burnt to death while the government machinery remained ignorant for more than a year.
read more.
thenewspk

20150209 * MQM demands public hanging of man involved in Baldia factory fire:

*Haider Abbas says JIT report on tragedy baseless and a conspiracy against MQM
* Sattar says report will be challenged in court

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders on Sunday dismissed the report by a Joint Investigation team on Badia Town factory fire , terming it ‘factious’ and ‘biased’.

Addressing a press conference held at the MQM headquarters Nine-Zero, Haider Abbas Rizvi said the JIT report was not based on facts but was compiled on rumours.
He termed it a pack of lies. “It is written in the report that I heard from this person and that person,” he claimed. Rizvi, who was flanked by Dr Farooq Sattar, Faisal Sabzwari, Dr Khalid Mqbool Siddiqui and Rauf Siddiqui, said the judicial commission comprised of Justice (retd) Qurban Alvi prepared a fake probe report over the Baldia Town tragedy.
He said MQM condemns what he termed a sham conspiracy against the party, adding that this was not the first time that a fake JIT formed against MQM chief Altaf Hussain and the workers.
read more.
daily times PK

20150208 * Govt afraid of factory fire culprits: Siraj:

The “government is afraid of those involved in the Baldia Town incident that is why the political party involved is not being named”, said Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq.

He said the joint investigation team probing the Baldia Town fire has held a political party responsible for the incident. He said no political party could kill so many people.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Sirajul Haq also demanded of the government to reveal the inside story of the Baldia own incident and announce compensation for the families of victims.
read more.
thenewspk

20150209 * Inappropriate of MQM to question JIT’s credibility, says Sharjeel Memon:

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon on Monday said that the criticism on Baldia factory fire’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report was not appropriate.

Speaking to reporters outside the Sindh Assembly building, Memon said: “JIT has joint representatives of several institutions such as police, Rangers, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) to carry out investigations…to reject it or to say the findings are wrong is not appropriate.”

Earlier on Sunday, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain had criticised the Rangers’ JIT report on the Baldia factory fire. The report had blamed MQM for the deadly incident on the basis of a suspect’s confessional statement.
read more. & read more.
DAWNnew thenewspk

20150209 * Altaf wants UN or Scotland Yard to probe:

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief, Altaf Hussain, has raised the question of why the JIT report on Ziaul Haq’s plane crash and the incident of Ojhri Camp had never surfaced.

He demanded that an investigation into the Baldia Town factory fire be conducted by Scotland Yard or the United Nations. He added that the Legal Aid Committee should file a case against the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
read more.
thenewspk

20150209 * Baldia factory inferno: Altaf calls for foreign probe as party dismisses JIT report:

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has called the joint interrogation team (JIT) report, submitted by the Rangers to the Sindh High Court over the Baldia factory fire, as propaganda against the party and decided to challenge it in court.

In September 2012, at least 259 people were burnt alive in the inferno at Ali Enterprises in Baldia Town, Karachi. At first, the incident was reported an electricity mishap. But three years later, it is said to be a terrorist activity, with the JIT report alleging MQM men’s hand in it.
read more. & read more. & read more.
DAWNnew  DAILYCAPITAL

20150208 * Ebad for bringing culprits of Baldia factory fire to justice:

Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad on Saturday said the culprits of Baldia Town factory inferno should be brought to justice at all cost.

The governor said it was inevitable to bring the culprits of Baldia Town factory fire to justice however the case was sub judice so one should avoid discussing it.
The Baldia Town factory fire case took a dramatic turn on Friday when a joint investigating team report submitted in the Sindh High Court (SHC) claimed that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was involved in the incident.

The report quoted a man named Rizwan Qureshi, an alleged activist of MQM, as the source of information pointing towards the party, which held 80 percent mandate of the metropolis.
The report stated that Rangers had arrested a prime suspect who confessed to setting the factory on fire intentionally along with a group of miscreants.
read more.
daily times PK

20150208 * The truth of the fire:

The 2012 Baldia Town garment factory fire, in which 289 people burnt to death – combined with smoke inhalation, suffocation and a stampede – remains one of the largest such tragedies in our history.

Nearly three years on its culprits also remain on the loose.
A judicial report into the fire blamed it on a short circuit and the fire department, which arrived more than an hour after the fire broke out, was not held accountable.

The owner of the factory and regulatory authorities were faulted for the building not having fire exits and there were reports that all the doors of the factory were locked from the outside but the owner, despite being on the Exit Control List, was allowed to flee the country.

Now, a report submitted to the Sindh High Court by the Rangers includes a bombshell accusation that the MQM was behind the fire because it did not get extortion money from the factory owner.
This report is based only on the statement of a single suspect so it does not necessarily have to be taken as gospel truth.
But it is further confirmation that even after all this time we do not have the sordid details of how so many lives were lost on September 11, 2012.
read more.
thenewspk

20150208 * Baldia factory fire: Families claim they knew who was involved since day one:

Families of the victims who lost their lives in the Baldia factory fire claim that they knew the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was involved before a report produced in the Sindh High Court (SHC) became public knowledge.

Relatives said that they were aware of how and why it had happened but decided to remain silent. “We knew since day one that it was about extortion,” said Owais*, father of Muhammad Jahanzaib, a machine operator who was one of the 259 people burned alive in the fire at Ali Enterprises on September 11, 2012. “The culprits should be punished.”

Shoaib* lost his wife in the fire and has been bringing up their two daughters alone. “Many of those who died belonged to Urdu-speaking families and were affiliated with the party,” he said. “If the charges against the MQM are true, then the party should be banned.”

Trade unionist Nasir Mansoor said that if the report was correct, then culprits associated with the party should be punished.
“The owners are also responsible as people died due to lack of safety measures.” He added that the factory had no emergency exists and the gates to the factory were closed at the time of the incident.
Mansoor claimed that it looked like the owners wanted to free themselves from any blame.
read more.

20150207 * Baldia factory door was shut from outside: Rauf Siddiqi:

Former provincial minister Rauf Siddiqi says that exit door had been shut from the outside when the Baldia Town factory burnt down in 2012, claiming the lives of over 250 employees.

According to a Joint Investigation Report (JIT), the factory fire – dubbed the worst fire incident in Pakistan’s history – was the result of the owners not paying extortion demanded by a certain political faction.

Then-provincial minister Siddiqi says that there was no negligence on the part of any institution or department in the incident.

Speaking to Geo News on Saturday, he said that he had reached the location as soon as he heard news of the fire.
“I got the FIR of the incident registered with the police and ordered immediate investigation,” he said.
“The doors of the factory were shut from the outside,” he added.
read more.
thenewspk

20150208 * Baldia factory fire: Govt asked to take action after JIT report:

Political parties have called upon the government to take the Baldia factory fire as a test case if it wanted to eliminate terrorism as they blamed the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for the deadly blaze. 

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demanded that MQM chief Altaf Hussain be tried for the deaths of more than 250 factory workers. The government must seek the return of the exiled leader so that he can be tried for the deaths of poor factory workers, who “fell victim to MQM’s extortionist agenda and paid for it with their lives”, said PTI Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari in a statement.

On Friday, Rangers submitted before the Sindh High Court a joint investigation team’s (JIT) report, which claimed that the MQM was behind the fire that claimed lives of at least 258 factory workers in Baldia Town area of Karachi.
read more.

20150208 * MQM chief wants foreign investigation into Baldia factory fire:

A day after a joint investigation team (JIT) report into the Baldia factory fire incident accused a man claiming to be a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker, the party’s chief Altaf Hussain said that MQM cannot be blamed for an individual’s alleged act and called for foreign investigation into the incident.

Addressing workers and supporters via telephone at the foundation laying ceremony for Altaf Hussain University in Hyderabad, the party chief lamented the timing for publicizing the JIT report.

“Why wasn’t the JIT report released earlier?” Hussain asked.

“A party has hundreds of thousands of workers. If one man claiming to be a member commits a crime, it is his individual act. It is illegal, immoral to blame the political party.”
read more.

20150208 * MQM for public hanging of Baldia Town fire culprit:

The Rabita Committee of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Saturday said it had no links with Rizwan Qureshi – the accused in the Baldia Town factory fire tragedy.

In a press statement, Rabita Committee emphasised that the MQM had zero-tolerance for extortionists and other criminals.
The statement called for public hanging of the man allegedly involved in Baldia Town factory fire.

The party also appealed to the media to stop referring to Rizwan Qureshi as a member of the MQM.

The report of the joint investigation team (JIT), pertaining to the fire, was submitted in the Sindh High Court along with the statement of a Rangers official according to which the information was disclosed by an alleged MQM worker Rizwan Qureshi.

Meanwhile, talking to Geo News on Saturday, MQM leader Babar Ghauri has said that the media trial of the MQM has been started.
read more.
thenewspk

20150208 * MQM disowns ‘worker’ who blamed it for factory fire:

Declaring that the man alleged to have set a Baldia Town factory on fire was not associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the party’s coordination committee has demanded that the government should hang the person at the local roundabout in accordance with the law and Constitution.

A report submitted by a Rangers official in the Sindh High Court said that MQM was behind the fire incident that claimed the lives of at least 258 factory workers. The report was based on the information collected from an alleged MQM worker, Rizwan Qureshi.

The MQM committee said in a statement that the suspect, Rizwan Qureshi, was not its worker and the party had nothing to do with him. “The MQM has zero tolerance for terrorists, extortionists and criminal elements,” it said.
read more.
DAWNnew

20150207 * ‘289 people were killed for not getting Rs200m extortion’:

The Baldia Town factory fire case took a new turn on Friday when a terror suspect from a political party disclosed before the seven-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that Ali Enterprise garment factory was set on fire by members of a political party on refusal to pay Rs200 million as extortion money by the factory owners in September 2012.

Rangers have presented the JIT report before the Sindh High Court (SHC).

The JIT report of terror suspect Rizwan Qureshi, who is stated to be associated with the political party, was submitted before the SHC, which ordered heads of Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency and the Rangers to submit their investigation reports, if any, conducted with regard to the Baldia fire incident that claimed the lives of 289 persons on September 11, 2012.
(…)

The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and others had filed petitions in the Sindh High Court for the constitution of a judicial commission, which might fix the responsibility on persons responsible for the Baldia Town fire incident at the Ali Enterprise factory that claimed the lives of as many as 289 persons on September 11, 2012 and suggest monetary compensation to the legal heirs of inferno victims.

The Nazir of the court informed that all the 672 legal heirs of deceased victims had received cheques of death grant while 128 cheques were yet to be delivered.
On the plea regarding the transfer of investigation officer, SHC’s division bench, headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, observed that DIG Sultan Khawaja was presently supervising the conduct of cases by the investigation officer and directed the trial court to proceed the matter expeditiously so that the trial may be concluded within a year. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till next week.
read more.
thenewspk

20150207 * MQM disowns Baldia factory arson accused:

The Rabitta Committee of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) on Saturday said it had no links with Rizwan Qureshi – the accused in the Baldia Town factory fire tragedy.

The statement of the Rabitta Committee emphasised the MQM had zero-tolerance for extortionists and other criminals. The party also appealed to the media to stop referring to Rizwan Qureshi as a member of the MQM.

On Friday, the report of the joint investigation team (JIT) pertaining to the fire was submitted in the Sindh High Court along with the statement of a Rangers official according to which the information was disclosed by an alleged MQM worker Rizwan Qureshi.
read more.
thenewspk

20150207 * Baldia factory fire accused not affiliated with MQM: Rabitta Committee:

The Rabitta Committee of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) on Saturday said it had no links with Rizwan Qureshi – the accused in the Baldia Town factory fire tragedy.

The statement of the Rabitta Committee emphasised the MQM had zero-tolerance for extortionists and other criminals. The party also appealed to the media to stop referring to Rizwan Qureshi as a member of the MQM.

On Friday, the report of the joint investigation team (JIT) pertaining to the fire was submitted in the Sindh High Court along with the statement of a Rangers official according to which the information was disclosed by an alleged MQM worker Rizwan Qureshi.
read more.
geonewslogo

20150207 * Baldia inferno: JIT accuses political party of starting fire:

The Rangers have placed the blame of the Baldia factory fire on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in a report submitted to the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday.

They claimed that some members of the party were linked to the deadly fire which left more than 259 men and women dead on September 11, 2012.

In the report submitted to a division bench of the SHC hearing identical petitions seeking a judicial inquiry into the incident, law enforcers claimed that they had arrested a man in connection to the industrial fire and during the interrogation he had identified himself as an MQM worker.

When contacted, MQM leaders and office-bearers were unavailable for comments. On January 13, while hearing the petitions filed by the Pakistan Industrial Labour Education Research, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and others, the bench ordered DIG Sultan Khwaja to submit a report of the investigations.
The bench also issued notices to the heads of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to submit their report on the incident.
read more.

20150207 * Rangers’ report blames MQM for Baldia factory fire:

The Baldia Town factory inferno case took a dramatic turn on Friday when a report by Rangers claimed that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was behind the deadly fire that claimed the lives of at least 258 factory workers.

The report prepared by a joint investigation team (JIT) was submitted to the Sindh High Court by an additional attorney general, along with a statement of the deputy assistant judge advocate general of Rangers, Major Ashfaque Ahmed.

Also read: Baldia factory fire: Victim families’ hope for justice fading away

The statement said the information had been disclosed by suspect Mohammad Rizwan Qureshi, an alleged worker of the MQM, on June 22, 2013 during joint investigation of the factory inferno.

According to the JIT report, the MQM worker revealed that a “well-known party high official” had demanded Rs200 million as Bhatta (extortion money) though his frontman from Ali Enterprises, the owners of the ill-fated factory, in Aug 2012.
read more.
DAWNnew

20150206 * Group of miscreants set fire to Baldia Town factory: report :

The Baldia factory fire which consumed over 250 lives was a result of the owners not paying extortion demanded by a certain political faction, according to the Joint Investigation Report (JIT).

The report submitted by Sindh Rangers on Friday during the hearing of the Baldia Town factory fire case revealed, that the fire was intentionally caused by miscreants.

According to the report, the Rangers recently arrested a prime suspect who confessed to setting the factory on fire along with a group of miscreants intentionally.
read more.
thenewspk

20150206 * Members of political party behind Baldia factory fire, Rangers tell SHC :

20150206 TRIBUNE
In this file photo, members of City Fire Services take part in rescue operation. PHOTO: REUTERS

Rangers on Friday afternoon submitted a report to the Sindh High Court (SHC) on the Baldia factory fire, revealing that the inferno – which killed over 250 people in 2012 – was deliberate and members of a political party were behind it, Express News reported.

Fire in Ali Enterprises – a garment factory in Baldia Town – burnt 259 people alive on September 11, 2012.

A two-member SHC bench, headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqir, took up the case today. The Rangers report submitted to the bench stated that a member of the accused political party admitted to setting the factory on fire along with his accomplices. The suspect was arrested by Rangers as part of the investigation into the inferno.

RELATED: SHC asks spy agencies to submit reports on Baldia factory fire

Rangers have asked SHC to keep the findings of the report secret due to the involvement of politicians in the attack.

During the hearing, the court ordered the concerned authorities to distribute cheques among the victims who haven’t been given any financial support. It also asked the authorities to submit a report in one week time.
to read.

NIGERIA

20150208 * ATA and GES to bring revival in Nigerian Textile Industry:

Cotton was one of Nigeria’s major export commodities and formed a major component of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The collapse of agriculture as a result of the discovery of oil subsequently led to the collapse of various commodities in the nation’s agricultural sector, including cotton, thereby leading to a near collapse of the economic value of cotton and the sector as a whole.

The revival of the agriculture sector, and in particular cotton, began with the growth enhancement support scheme (GES) for farmers three years ago where agricultural inputs, in form of seeds and fertilisers, were given to farmers.
With a population of over 15 million registered beneficiaries registered under the agricultural transformation agenda (ATA)/ GES, agricultural production has experienced a quantum leap. And so has cotton production.
read more.
ynfxlogo

20150206 * NEPC tasked textile and apparel firms to take advantage of $850 bn global market:

The Nigerian textiles and garments industry if given the requisite attention can be one of the game changers for the nation’s export drive.

Noting that the opportunities in the global market are huge this year which according to statistics, is expected to hit $850 billion.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has tasked textile and apparel manufacturers to take advantage of business opportunities from the global market.
read more.
ynfxlogo

GHANA

20150206 * Ghana: the fight against piracy:

20150208 TAGESSHAU
Ghana will support local tailors and fabric producers.

Ghana is proud of its textiles: Colorful often hand woven African fabrics.
30 thousand people worked long in their own textile industry.

But now there are just under 3,000.
One reason for the decline, the market is flooded with cheap fabric copies, which are mainly smuggled from China into the country.
read & see more,  (German language video report.)
WELTSPIEGEL

 

map of Asia

For the latest news see tweets below and @DressedStripped (on twitter).

Updates under ‘special overviews’:

* The BALDIA (& Lahore) Fire September 2012 –PART 4 20150113- NOW

* Minimum Wage-LIVING WAGE- PART 7: 20140824 – now

HEADLINES:

CHINA
* GM is a question of public or private good

PHLIPPINES
* Gov’t urged to strictly implement occupational health, safety

VIET NAM
* Local textile firms short of funding
* Vietnam likely to become second biggest EM apparel supplier surpassing Bangladesh
* Shoemakers upbeat on prospects for 2015
* Growth expected in textile, footwear export turnover

CAMBODIA
* Garment-Sector Raises Hit by Falling Overtime
* GMAC says orders are down due to wage hike
* Commute deadly: gov’t
* Union Leader Charged with Extortion

THAILAND
* Thailand need to conclude FTA with Europe and also boost its textile production soon

INDONESIA
* Foreign Investors Canceled Plans for 16 Footwear Factories in Indonesia

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Wages not covering living costs, survey shows
* Low Labor Cost Ranks Burma among Top Countries for Investment

NEPAL
* Fire in cotton factory guts property worth Rs. 3.3 mln

BANGLADESH
* Vietnam likely to overtake Bangladesh in apparel exports by 2024 once TPP takes shape
* FDI in RMG—a boon or bane?
* Jhut warehouse catches fire in Gazipur
* RMG inspection, Labour Act rules to be completed by April
* UNC signs accord for BD worker safety
* Firms to conduct engineering analysis of RMG factories
* Genetically Modified cotton, other crops soon: Matia
* Exporters now turn to expensive air shipment
* B’desh business community protests $10 billion losses
* A garment maker’s plight
* Handloom silk business incurs huge losses
* Apparel export to US slips in 2014
* Bangladesh RMG exports grow 1.91%
* Labour’s right at stake
THE RANA PLAZA COLLAPSE:
* Rana Plaza, Tazreen victims demand compensation

INDIA-BANGLADESH
* Toxic, Deadly Tanneries

INDIA
* 25 bonded child labourers rescued in city
* FOSTTA agrees to support eradication of child labor
* 3 held for Ranipet effluent tank crash that left 10 dead
* Additional funds sought for TUFS
* Plan to expand power loom upgradation scheme to more clusters
* Powerloom weavers will get yarn at concessional rate with the setting up of India’s first yarn bank
* Ready-made garments export under scanner for tax scheme misuse
* CITU appeal to revise indices
* Textile cluster to be set up in Mysore to soon turn into reality
* Textile cluster to get off the ground
* Textile units seek excise duty cut on synthetic fibre
* India to see drop in cotton cultivation by 15% over low price and lower demand

SRI LANKA
* Trade union in Sri Lanka calls for the report on the probe into the killing of a FTZ worker in 2011
* Top trade union disappointed with Lankan budget, urges Rs. 5000 wage hike for private sector
* ‘Much potential in leather industry’
* Footwear, Leather Exports Double Within One Year

PAKISTAN
* Protection of women: More committees formed for harassment at workplace
* Textile exports to be raised to $26bn in 5 years
* Policy (2014-19): ambitious textile goals unveiled
* Textile exports: PBEA chief refutes minister’s claim
* Exports to EU increased by $1bn under GSP-plus status: minister
* EU trade deal boosts Pakistan exports by $1bn, says minister
* Conciliation of diverse interests
* Value-added textile sector, spinners at loggerheads
* Cotton market steady amid selective buying
* Aptma’s clarification about import of cotton yarn from India
* Indian yarn triggers considerable controversy
* Import of cotton yarn: PHM&EA urges government to withdraw 5 % duty
* PYMA concerned over huge import of cotton yarn from India
* Aptma seeks 15% duty on Indian cotton yarn import
* Yarn import: Textile exporters seek abolition of duty
* APTPMA criticises government measures
* Suspension of gas supply to adversely affect textiles’ output: PTEA
* Refunds of Rs20b stuck, says PRGMEA chief
THE BALDIA FACTORY FIRE:
* SHC orders Baldia factory fire trial to be completed within one year
* Political circus
* Heirs of Baldia factory fire victims to sue German retailer
* Baldia factory fire: PTI, MQM in a war of words
* Call for action against Karachi factory fire accused
* MQM demands public hanging of man involved in Baldia factory fire
* Govt afraid of factory fire culprits: Siraj
* Inappropriate of MQM to question JIT’s credibility, says Sharjeel Memon
* Altaf wants UN or Scotland Yard to probe
* Baldia factory inferno: Altaf calls for foreign probe as party dismisses JIT report
* Ebad for bringing culprits of Baldia factory fire to justice
* The truth of the fire
* Baldia factory fire: Families claim they knew who was involved since day one
* Baldia factory door was shut from outside: Rauf Siddiqi
* Baldia factory fire: Govt asked to take action after JIT report
* MQM chief wants foreign investigation into Baldia factory fire
* MQM for public hanging of Baldia Town fire culprit
* MQM disowns ‘worker’ who blamed it for factory fire
* ‘289 people were killed for not getting Rs200m extortion’
* MQM disowns Baldia factory arson accused
* Baldia factory fire accused not affiliated with MQM: Rabitta Committee
* Baldia inferno: JIT accuses political party of starting fire
* Rangers’ report blames MQM for Baldia factory fire
* Group of miscreants set fire to Baldia Town factory: report
* Members of political party behind Baldia factory fire, Rangers tell SHC

NIGERIA
* ATA and GES to bring revival in Nigerian Textile Industry
* NEPC tasked textile and apparel firms to take advantage of $850 bn global market

GHANA
* Ghana: the fight against piracy

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