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India: Leading knitwear exporting centre, Tirupur wants knitwear board

Tirupur hopes to be the headquarters of a board for knitwear. This is expected to help in getting on-ground inputs about what is going on in the industry and would aid in the development of all stakeholders. Exporters also want relaxed credit and loan mechanisms.

Apart from these two major concerns, the Tirupur garment sector has also been pressing for the establishment of labor-supportive infrastructure such as housing colonies and a research and development park. Decent housing for migrant labor is expected to help them focus on the work and also attract more people from all corners of the country. Since two-thirds of the industry consists of small and medium scale units, which cannot afford to have their own research wing, it would make them competitive if there is a central pool of R&D talents from which they can pay and take designs from.

Tirupur, India’s leading exporter of knitwear, contributes around 50 per cent of the country’s knitwear exports. Around 20,000 production units – including micro, small and medium scale enterprises – function in Tirupur, employing nearly seven lakh people directly. However, an industrial cluster that was once growing at 20 per cent saw negative growth in 2017 for the first time in a decade due to demonetization and the roll out of GST.