The textile and apparels sector has been granted a Rs 6,000-crore package by the Centre in a move to help the industry realise its full potential, reported the Economic Times. The National Democratic Alliance government hopes the money coupled with reformed labour laws and financial incentives will create one crore new jobs in the next three years, besides fetching Rs 74,000 crore in investments and generating an extra $30 billion (approximately Rs 2 lakh crore) through exports.
"We have advantages of economies of scale. Therefore, it was decided to take steps to give a boost to the sector," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. The reforms introduced by the government include a 12% of contribution from the employer under the Employers Provident Fund Scheme for new recruits who earn less than Rs 15,000 a month for the first three years. The Centre also plans to fix overtime for workers to eight hours a week, as prescribed by the International Labour Office.
Although the industry can hire workers on a contractual basis considering its seasonal nature, the workers will be paid on a par with those working in permanent roles. The government believes that India has an edge over other countries in this sector as it produces everything from fibre to fabric, and has a big labour force. "We will overtake Vietnam and Bangladesh in garment exports within the next three years if we properly implement the package," said Textiles Secretary Rashmi Verma.