Santosh Patnaik

On completion, it has promised to provide employment to 60,000 locals in Apparel City

Located in AP SEZ, it is projected to attract an investment of $1.2 billion on completion

We stand by our promise on jobs and strive to make it a major apparel hub: official

VISAKHAPATNAM: Brandix India Apparel City (BIAC), after the delayed inauguration of its project at Achyutapuram near here recently, has a tough task ahead in fulfilling its commitment to generate 60,000 jobs.

The park located in the AP Special Economic Zone is projected to attract an investment of $1.2 billion when completed, making it a globally significant manufacturing location for apparel with the capacity and depth to cater to discerning international brands.

When fully occupied, it will house 20 apparel production units, three fabric mills, eight accessories manufacturers, one finishing plant alongside ancillary service providers, including centralised logistic facility supported by the full gamut of infrastructure.

Concessional allotment

As of now, within three years of conceptualising the project, Brandix Lanka, the promoters of the mega project, could employ 5,000-odd. The State government allotted 1,000 acres on lease rental of Re.1 per year.

The concessional allotment came under fire by CAG in its annual report. The criticism was rebuffed by the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation under the pretext that it was a conscious decision to create employment opportunities and accelerate pace of development in the area. The failure to keep its commitment on employment front is attributed to the plight of the garment industry – which is hit hard due to recession. “The market meltdown has upset export schedule of the gigantic apparel city. It also has its tell-tale effect on generating jobs,” admitted an official connected with the project.

Rosaiah's directive

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah told the promoters firmly that when the park was fully occupied, the management must provide employment to 60,000 people, mostly women of the local areas. “We stand by our promise to create 60,000 jobs and link global brands, manufacturing operations and service providers in a synergistic convergence that will consolidate the South Asian region's strength as a major apparel hub,” said a senior BIAC official. There is lot of criticism from the locals over BIAC failure to generate jobs as per promise it made at the time of land acquisition. There are allegations that the wages being given to permanent workers is very low. “They are giving just above the minimum wages to women workers who were made permanent after vigorous training in fashion designing. This is unbecoming of a multinational,” alleged Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council.