November 5, 2020: With reports of fresh lockdown in some European countries, apparel exporters of Gautam Budh Nagar district are staring at an uncertain future.
Lalit Thukral, chairman of Noida Apparel Export Cluster (NAEC), said that one of the worst-hit business sectors in the Covid-19 pandemic is textiles – particularly the garment exports in that segment.
“A sharp fall in domestic and export demand due to Covid-19, and lower profitability are enough to give a major setback to the apparel industry. We saw some hope with fresh orders coming from European countries for Spring-Summer Collections 2021. But, with fresh lockdown in the UK, Italy, Spain, France and Germany – which have at least 40% share in overall apparel exports worth over Rs 50,000 crore from India – the Indian exporters have started sulking again as it will result in higher revenue loss,” Thukral said.
He further said that with the lockdown in these countries, the apparel exports’ revenue of Rs 2 lakh crore will certainly go down by 30% in this fiscal. “For the apparel exporters, the fall will be more because of tepid discretionary spending in these countries,” he said.
Amid this uncertainty, the exporters have started surfing the avenues in the domestic market to make up the financial loss. However, they said that the domestic market won’t be able to make up for the loss.
Echoing similar views, Neeraj Prakash, who runs a garment export company in Noida, said, “Now, there is a lot of uncertainty. Even the orders ready to be shipped are dumped in the customs office. If the situation persists, the future of Indian apparel industry is very bleak. Only Noida is all set to lose the export orders of Rs 5,000 crore this year. The domestic demand is nothing more than a drop in the ocean for us,” he said.
However, Kulmani Gupta, chairman of Indian Industries Association (IIA), said that the lockdown in European countries doesn’t have much impact on India. “They are still banking on China for apparel. But, if fresh lockdown is imposed in the US, which had restricted Chinese exports, Indian apparel industry will certainly have a body blow,” he said.
Source: Hindustan Times