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Labour laws to be amended soon: Rana

G. Gurumurthy

TIRUPUR, June 7

THE annual general meeting of the Federation of Hosiery Manufacturers Association (FOHMA), which met here, has called upon the domestic industry to forge unity among different textile producing industries forgetting sectoral differences so as to take on the challenges in the textiles and clothing trade beyond 2005.

The association felt that notwithstanding the present buoyancy in the country's knitwear growth, hosiery sector would be facing stiff competition by 2005 when all import restrictions would be removed. The changing face of the textile and apparel sector would call for productivity enhancement to remain competitive and this would require urgent reforms in labour legislations, the outgoing President of the association, Mr D.D. Kothari, said.

The Union Textile Minister, Mr Kashiram Rana, speaking after inaugurating the AGM, said the Union Government was aware that changes in the labour statutes were essential to accelerate the desired growth rate in industrial production, especially in the sphere of textiles and textile exports. ``The Government is very clear on the need to amend the labour laws and within a short period, this will take place,'' Mr Rana said.

In order to improve the competitiveness of Indian textile sector in world trade, the Government had initiated measures such as the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) and the Textile Centre Infrastructure Development Scheme (TCIDS) and setting up of apparel parks to give a cutting edge to textile exports.

Referring to the amendment to the Central Sales Tax (CST) Act which has made registration compulsory for issue of `C' forms to avail of CST for those getting supplies from inter-State trade, Mr Rana said the amendment was made on the basis of recommendations made by various State Governments.

Mr Rana was of the view that this issue need to be sorted out so that the textile sector could be freed from shackles. His Ministry would take up this issue with the Finance Ministry, but at the same time, he wanted the hosiery industry to prevail upon the respective State Governments to represent the matter to the Centre.

Mr Rana backed the proposal to set up an exclusive apparel park for the knitwear industry in Tirupur by saying that the Textile and the Commerce Ministries would fully support the setting up of the Tirupur park. The Tamil Nadu Government should extend support for the park and according to Mr Rana, the Central Government officials would discuss in this regard with the State Government on June 17.

A new set of office-bearers representing the South Zone took over at FOHMA. Mr Mohan P Kandasamy, President of the South India Hosiery Manufacturers Association (SIHMA) was elected the President and Mr S Jeyabal, Vice-President, South Zone, FOHMA, was chosen as the Secretary.

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