Demand for fast fashion is showing no signs of a slowdown and economies like India have been steadily growing its textile industry. India is hoping to take 20 percent of the world textile market, valued at 300 billion dollars over the next 10 years. In order to facilitate its growth India could alsosee changes to labour laws, with textiles minister Santosh Gangwar telling the Hindu Business Line that “labour law flexibility” is currently being discussed with the Labour Ministry.
India to diversify export market
One of the main focuses is diversifying export markets. The EU and US currently account for around 50 percent of India’s textile and apparel exports but, with the country only accounting for 5 percent of global trade, broadening its markets is seen as crucial to growing its share.
Part of the strategy is also to diversify its exports and the country is aiming to attract foreign investment and enter new markets with high export potential, such as Japan, China, Brazil and Russia.
The lack of labour laws has been of concern, however. “There are a large number of workers in the unorganised sector who do not get benefits such as relief in case there are accidents. We are also discussing labour law flexibility with the Labour Ministry, but cannot elaborate on it now,” Textiles Minister Santosh Gangwar told BusinessLine.
The textile sector has been demanding less restrictive rules on working ‘over-time’, relaxed norms for application of the Industrial Disputes Act, and permission for export-oriented units to employ workers on contract without any restrictions.
Image: India factory