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India: Garment Exporters and Manufacturers Association appeals to government to intervene as COVID-19 leaves suppliers unable to pay workers’ wages

“Unable to pay April, May wages to workers engaged in apparel sectors: Garment exporters’ body”, 22 April 2020

The Garments Exporters and Manufacturers Association (GEMA) on Wednesday said it is not in a position to pay wages for April and May to workers engaged in the apparel sector following a disruption caused by coronavirus-forced lockdown in the country.

The body has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state chief ministers to facilitate payment of wages to workers for these two months.

[GEMA president Vijay Jindal said] "Most of the export orders have either been cancelled or put on hold, the consignments already shipped is also stuck. Even the apparel manufactured against orders are lying in factories because of the ban on movement/transport. The situation has become grave as they have yet not got any receipt of payment from the buyers," Jindal said.

The garment exporters … cannot afford to pay the wages for the month of April, Jindal said, suggesting that the government should pay wages from the funds available in the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY) Scheme …

We request the government to come forward and stand by the apparel export industry to pay wages for workers for the months of April and May," Jindal said.