Nearly 40 % of the Tiruppur hosiery manufacturing units that cater to the domestic market have closed down due to lack of orders, according to the South India Hosiery Manufacturers’ Association.
In a memorandum to the Central government, the Association president A.C. Eswaran said due to decline in orders, several units in Tiruppur were stopping production. In the last six years, import of garments from Bangladesh had increased 15 times in value. In 2016-2017, garments worth ₹288 crore were imported and in 2022-2023, it was nearly ₹4,500 crore. When India signed Free Trade Agreement with Bangladesh in 2011, there was 12 % duty on imports from Bangladesh. However, there was no duty now and there were unconfirmed reports that goods from China entered India through Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, the garment industry was supported by the government with subsidies. The Tiruppur industries were unable to compete with Bangladesh imports as the production costs were high here, he said.
Mr. Eswaran urged the Centre to check garment imports from Bangladesh and also to restrict cotton exports when the new cotton season starts on October 1. Only surplus cotton should be allowed for exports so that prices of cotton and yarn remained stable, he said. The domestic textile and garment industry was expected to consume nearly 300 lakh bales of cotton. If the cotton prices dropped below the Minimum Support Price, the Cotton Corporation of India should step in to buy cotton from the farmers. The government should monitor cotton sales by the Corporation to the industry, he said.