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India: Society for Labour & Development tracks impact of Covid-19 on garment workers

“Garment Workers in India’s Lockdown: Semi-starvation and dehumanisation leads to exodus”, June 2020

The story of the losses suffered by Indian garment exporters due to … cancellation of orders and demands for discounts on already supplied goods … is well known. The Apparel Export Promotion Corporation (AEPC) conducted two surveys of garment exporters, with 105 and 88 exporters respectively (AEPC, May 2020). 83% of exporters reported that orders had been wholly or partially cancelled. For orders cancelled, 72% said that their buyers had not taken responsibility for materials already purchased. Almost 50% indicated that buyers are asking for discounts on goods already shipped; 72% of them said they were asked for more than 20% discount, and 27% had been asked for discounts of above 40%.

... 88% of exporters felt “challenged” in paying wages to workers ... Having visualized the impending crisis, the AEPC had requested the government to provide funds to exporters to pay wages to workers for “six weeks or until the situation became normal”. ... [T]he exporters did not ... get Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other refunds that they would have expected to receive ... in normal times.