It was not business as usual for garment manufacturers and traders of Puthiyamputhur. Finished products are moving at a slow pace. Business was down by about 30 % this year, J. Pachaiperumal, a readymade garment manufacturer, said on Sunday. Skilled labour shortage led to fall in production. To overcome the problem, cloth bundles were sent to tailors in Ramanathapuram and Tiruchi. Despite sending the fabric to Tirupur for embroidering and to Bengaluru for washing, finished goods could not be marketed successfully.
Normally, business would pick up a few days before Deepavali but this year there was no sign of such development, J. Arulraj, a trader, said.
Arrival of cheaper readymade garments from New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Nagpur has hit the traders. Goods and Service Tax (GST) also hit the industry.
T. Manohar, president, Clothes and Readymade Garment Traders Association, Puthiyamputhur, said a new model, ‘mastani midi,’ a woman’s garment comprising a set of three pieces, was moving fast. It could be dressed as a midi or churidhar.
A.S.A. Selvakumar, a manufacturer, said 150 beedi rollers from Ambasamudram were trained in tailoring this year to overcome labour shortage.
Puthiyamputhur should be declared as a ‘readymade garment park’ and the government should create market integration facility to promote the industry. Moreover, subsidised electricity was required.
D. Palani Thangam, another manufacturer, said small traders could not withstand the GST impact. V. Lingaraj, dealing with small retail shops in 30 districts, said about 50 %of business was affected. Such a trend has been prevailing after demonetisation and GST aggravated the agony of traders.