A survey conducted by CMAI amongst its members at the end of May showed a stunning decline of apparel sales during the month of May. Compared to the corresponding period of May 2019, the survey indicated a drop of 84 per cent over last year – and that too, primarily because some factories had started manufacturing masks and other PPE products.
The domestic apparel business reported almost “ZERO” production of regular products in May 2020.
Only 22% factories operational
Contrary to the current view, the situation has hardly improved even after the easing of restrictions and attempts to open up the Economy. The CMAI survey showed that only 22 per cent of the garment factories across India have started functioning by end of May. These factories are operating at an average of 25 per cent of their capacity. Around 40 per cent of these factories are engaged in the manufacture of current essential products like masks and PPE products.
No help from banks
CMAI’s survey also revealed that of those who had applied for the additional Working Capital Loan (COVID Line) as directed by RBI, only 26 per cent had actually received assistance from their bankers. Applications of the balance 74 per cent are still in the ‘processing’ stage.
Heading for disaster
The above findings clearly indicate that the garment Industry is going through an unprecedented crisis, and unless immediate steps are undertaken to permit unfettered and uniform opening up of all shops, market complexes, and malls as well as factories, and the banks step in to assist the industry, the garment industry in India is definitely heading towards an unmitigated disaster.