SHILLONG, June 4 � Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said India�s slide from the number one garment exporter in the world was due to its failure to concentrate in semi-urban centres and small towns where labour cost is low.
Inaugurating a pilot project on �Employment Linked Vocational Training Programme� at Tura, Garo Hills on Saturday, Sangma said, the country must shift its focus from the cities and metros to suburbs and small towns in garment manufacturing.
�The cost of garment manufacture is high in the cities and metros, so the focus must shift to small towns and suburbs where the cost of labour is comparatively low,� he told the gathering.
Citing the example of Bangladesh, he said, Bangladesh garment factories are mostly located in rural areas where the labour cost is low. Therefore, he added, the garment manufacturing industry in the neighbouring country is growing with export on the upswing.
Sangma said that apart from training the students in garment manufacturing, designers should also be roped in to add more value to the products. He said that the State Government was also in the process of imparting similar training to youths in different vocational courses so that they can be entrepreneurs.
The pilot project, being sponsored by the BSF Wives Welfare Association (BWWA) in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation, would initially train 100 women from amongst the local population and the BSF in textile and apparel manufacturing.