TN: Tiruppur Textile Industry Demands Stabilisation of Yarn Prices
Workers at textile looms want a revision of wages as they are unable to afford the increasing cost of living.
Video Editor & Cameraperson: Smitha TK
When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the Tiruppur textile manufacturing hub faced losses to the tune of Rs 10,000 crores. By June 2020, the industry had moved towards the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical kits. Then, with the rise in demand for casual wear that Tiruppur specialises in, the industry began seeing a revival.
However, from mid-March, the textile industry started facing losses again, thanks to the increase in prices of yarn, the main raw material.
The Quint asked textile mill owners and shopkeepers what they want from political leaders in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu, the textile capital of the country, directly employs almost 60 lakh people.
Minimum 50% of Profits Slashed
The Central government did not give relief measures to the sector after the lockdown, textile owners said.
“Now the rates of yarn have increased from Rs 10 to Rs 70. They say it will reduce after April, but we are not sure. Since Pongal, business has been hit hard. We are not getting even 50% of the orders,” Jagir, a shopkeeper told The Quint.
The industry has sought a ban on the export of yarn until the prices dip in the domestic market. Shortage of yarn has resulted in prices increasing by 50% in the last four months.
The price of yarn has gone from at least Rs 200 per kilo in November-December 2020 to at least Rs 300 in March 2021.
“People are afraid to buy large stocks of yarn. Usually in wholesale production, they procure yarn for about six months. Now if the yarn rates reduce, they will face losses as they won't get to sell at the rate in which they procured,” Jagir said.
Demand for Higher Wages
Workers at textile looms told The Quint that they want a revision of wages as they are unable to afford the increasing cost of living.
With rising prices of raw materials, Tiruppur Exporters Association and South India Hosieries Manufacturers Association are worried about losing their competitive edge to other exporting countries.
The textile processors in Tiruppur say they have appealed to all the political parties to bring down GST for processing and to convert the ₹200 crore interest-free loan given to Common Effluent Treatment Plants to grants.
“A special policy and support are needed. We want residential facilities with all amenities for all workers. So far, we have the permission to give 75 hours as overtime duty for one quarter. We want this to be hiked to 150 hours for a quarter. That means, by working for two hours a day, the labourers will get paid for four hours,” Raja M Shanmugham, President of the Tiruppur Exporters Association suggested.
Apart from rising yarn prices, depleting water level and demand for increase in wages for those working in powerloom units are major concerns in Tiruppur.
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