Mr. Rakesh Vaid, President, Garments Exporters Association has written to Mr. Dayanadhi Maran, Union Textile Minister to call for a halt of unethical activities of some of the NGOs, who have been making unwarranted, sinister statements to national and international media. This, he said, has brought a bad name to Indian garment exporters.
He has sought the Minister’s help “in resolving a pressing problem being faced by garment exporting community because of biased propaganda and publicity being done by some of the NGO’s. There has been mushroom growth of international NGO’s who through their Local Trade Unions are defaming the Indian garment exporting community.”
He pointed out that “India has the most extensive legislations to protect the workers right of employment, ensuring permanency of job and compensation claims in the event of redundancy or loss of employment. Indian Labour Laws are very comprehensive and Indian law enforcing agencies are very strict in monitoring the required labour standards to ensure stringent legal enforcement.”
He added that all garment exporters are adhering to the Labour standards and are certified by the International Agencies in this regard. Several international organizations/ institutions independently certify that our exporters do not use forced labour or child labour. An elaborate system of certification in India’s garment industry leaves no room for use of any child or forced labour. There is no incidence of forced Child Labour in Indian Garment Industry. The Indian Garment Exporters are committed to adopt best practices and specifically to keep entire value chain completely free from Child Labour, Forced Labour and or any exploited conditions in their units.”
Despite all these facts, the NGOs have been spreading canard, stating that there have been – and continue to be –violations of labour laws including use of child labour. This has also resulted in the US Government placing India on list of countries that are exploiting labour and are using child labour, bringing discredit to our garment exporters. This will seriously impair the credibility of Indian garment exporters, which can also adversely affect the garment exports from India.
Mr. Vaid added that although, all efforts are being made to ensure that the entire value chain is free of exploiting the issue of working conditions and in any case , if there is any violation of laws in any exporting unit, the Government under the Indian laws can punish the defaulting units.
He also requested the Minister to investigate the working and funding of international NGOs to ensure that no undesirable element is allowed to exploit the situation.