Garment manufacturers on Tuesday closed factories across India for the second day as part of their two-day strike demanding rollback of 10 per cent excise duty imposed on branded apparels in the Budget 2011-12.

The strike call has been given by Clothing Manufacturers Association Of India (CMAI), an industry body that claims to represent over 20,000 companies in India, including ready made garment manufacturers, exporters and retailers.

Production units across the country, including New Delhi, Calcutta, Ahemdabad, Mumbai, Indore and Bangalore, are closed for the second day, CMAI President Rahul Mehta said.

He said that talks are going on with the government over the issue, but a concrete outcome is yet to emerge.

Other trade bodies such as the Intimate Apparel Association of India (IAAI) and Federation of Hosiery Manufacturers Association of India (FHMAI) have also supported the strike.

About 15,000 people gathered at the Ram Lila Maidan followed by a march to Jantar Mantar protesting against the duty hike.

According to the FHMAI Member Manoj Tandon, about 1.5 to 2 lakh people, including garment factories owners, staff and labourers would be affected due to the hike in excise duty.

FHMAI, which claims to be an association of around 3,000 hosiery manufacturers, said hunger strike which started yesterday morning is still on in Kolkata and will finish today evening. “If demands are not met, we plan to go on an indefinite strike,” Mr. Tandon said.

The duty has affected the flow of business as there are no deliveries of goods being made since February 28, he added.

The garment manufacturers have been demanding roll back of the 10 per cent excise imposed on branded apparels by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Budget 2011-12.

The manufacturers had earlier gone on strike on March 4.

CMAI said, the two-day strike would result in a loss of Rs. 600 crore.