At a recent multi-sectoral meeting chaired by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahindra Rajapaksa, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Secretary General Tuli Cooray proposed three key measures on behalf of the apparel industry to combat and minimise the impact of the pandemic. The industry seeks assistance from government in various areas such as extending over-time (OT) hours from legally permitted 60 hours to 90 hours for four months beginning from June and ensuring minimal disturbances to logistics.
It also requested for financial support to small and medium industry players to keep up with lost pace as certain fabrics from China would be available for processing in the coming weeks that would kick off operations of bulk manufacturers.
To ensure SME operations, industry requests banks and firms to grant adequate loan facilities subject to the Credit Support Scheme referred to the Central Bank Circular No.1 of 2020. Thirdly, logistics plays an important role in the supply chain so as to provide ontime delivery to its buyers.The industry will negotiate with independent service providers to offer weekly charter flights, the clearance for which is sought from government.
Estimated losses for the coming months round up to $510 million, and the situation is unlikely to achieve or reach near the target of 2019’s $5.3 billion exports.