R. Vimal Kumar

Tirupur: The economic recession sweeping the Western world has started taking its toll on the knitwear industry in Tirupur: about 20,000 workers are to lose their jobs.

Exports have plummeted steeply in the first half of this financial year and projections for the remaining half of the fiscal looking ‘unenthusiastic.’

Speaking to The Hindu, A. Sakthivel, president, Tirupur Exporters Association, said about 20,000 workers employed in different segments of the manufacturing chain in the knitwear cluster would lose their jobs very soon owing to the market crunch.

“Retrenchment has become imperative as exports for the first six months of this financial year ending September 30 has declined to Rs. 5,050 crore from Rs. 5,350 crore registered during the corresponding period last fiscal,” he said. In terms of earnings in US dollars, the downturn was pegged at 10 percent.

Besides, the forecast based on trends did not look rosy for the knitwear exports either as There had been a 30 per cent decline in orders placed with the Tirupur knitwear cluster. during October for the February-March season vis-À-vis the same period last fiscal.

“Many units have now reduced the number of shifts and resorted to five-day week routine following a drop in the orders.” Mr Sakthivel said the government should come out with sops to help the exporters.