Times are tough for economy and wont get easy any time soon. COVID-19 is a disease that has not only plagued the health of humans but also of industries. The Garment and Textile industry has had rough past three years. Fashion, an integral part of the industry needs a compassionate approach by the policy makers.
The fashion industry is a major emplyment provider. Unfortunately the fashion industry has never been taken seriously. The fashion fraternity unlike other industry doesn’t have a voice. They don’t have a lobby. Unlike automobile industry, the problems of fashion industry doesn’t find space in prime-time TV Debates. Fashion doesn’t matter to CII or ASSOCHAM . Fashion is frivolous for our Mantris, Babus and Media.
The lockdown is painful for our designers. Retail outlets tn the most expensive malls are shut. Factories are shut. Masters, cutters, tailors and many other workers are sitting at home. Wonder how long Designers can pay them salaries without work. Since 2016 post Demonetisation, then GST and the onslaught of E-Commerce the fashion industry has been struggling.
Fashion Fraternity has to get together and knock the doors of ministries and Niti Aayog. The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) announced that funds spent on measures to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak will be counted towards the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity of companies. Designers associated with FDCI collectively have the largest manufacturing facility employing lakhs of skilled and semi-skilled workers. Please lobby hard and get the CSR Funds to manufacture Surgical Masks and Protective Overalls. Just take it as a gainful way to keep your tailors busy and earn enough to pay their salary.
Our Textile Minister, Smriti Irani donated 1 Crore Ruppees in her constituency – Amethi for Masks and Sanitisers.
Don’t expect revision of GST rates. Don,t expect monetary package from the government. Don’t expect reduction of rent for your stores. Designers, you got to collectively knock the doors of ministries. FDCI can even join hands with fashion media that are owned by powerful media houses to make the policy makers understand the plight of designers who are in times of rising unemployment are one of the major employment providers.