RMG export dwindling

KATHMANDU: The month of April observed yet another fall by 58 per cent in Nepali readymade garment (RMG) export compared to the same period last year. Recent data of Garment Association Nepal (GAN) reveals that the total export of garment to US fell by 58 per cent and the total value of garment exported in April was $5,29,569.42. Garment export plunged by 31 per cent in March, with total export worth $6,82,410.88.

Export in February reduced by 55 per cent, and the total value of Nepali readymade garment (RMG) exported was $9,15,275 which was a reduction of 65 per cent compared to the total export in the same period in 2008.

In January, Nepali (RMG) export to US witnessed a fall of 73 per cent in its export data as January compared to the same period last year. The total value of RMG exported to the US in January was $7,06,964.17, which was Rs 2,650,747.91 during the same period in 2008.

In 2008, the total value of Nepali Ready Made Garment (RMG) exported to the US was $13,609,071.77, a deceleration of 45 per cent as compared to the year 2007 when the total value of Nepali RMG exported was $24,812,146.55.

“The situation of the country is getting critical and now nothing is hidden from the international

market. Factories are facing loss everyday. Currently, there are no orders while previous deliveries have

not been made due to strikes and bandhs,” said GAN president Prashant Kumar Pokharel.

At present, it is internal disruptions like labour disputes, strikes and load-shedding which have caused chaotic condition in this sector, he said. As a result, industrial guarantee has been disturbed and there are irregularities in production and lack of order fulfillment.

According to Pokharel, the culture of internal hazards is still strong. Labour grievances are high and there are some demands which are too difficult to be addressed. Until and unless there is labour market reform and flexible labour laws, these hazards will continue to impact the sector. Pokharel said that if the labour termination rule gets flexible, 70 per cent of the the sector’s problems would be solved. “We are facing problems due to trade unions, there should be free trade unionization,” he said.

“Export has dwindled by 90 per cent this year compared to the year 2003,” Pokharel said urging the government to fix specific agenda for sick industries as soon as possible.

He also called for a special package for the sector adding that the RMG sector alone can generate employment opportunity for more than three lakh people and more than 300 new garment factories can be established, he said.

He pointed out RMG is the only sector which can boost the economy of any country, like in the case of Bangladesh, South Korea and North Korea where it is the garment industry alone which supports the economy of these countries.