The Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF), one of the largest textile entrepreneurs associations in India, Sunday appealed to Brands and Retailers to focus on local sourcing, which would result in the creation of 1.5 lakh jobs and significantly lift wages of people in rural areas.

The appeal was made following the observation of a 53 per cent jump in imports of readymade garments from Bangladesh, ITF Convenor, Prabhu Dhamodaran said in a statement here.

Bangladesh’s overall exports to India in the July-April 2018-19 increased by 53 per cent to touch US 1.07 billion Dollars and data from Export Promotion Bureau in that country revealed it earned 701.56 million Dollars in the corresponding period last fiscal, with a major contribution from Ready Made Apparels, he said.

In Rupee terms, it was about Rs 7,500 crore worth of garments business which India lost to its neighbour, Prabhu said.

“It would have created an additional 6,000 jobs in the spinning sector, 500 jobs in the processing sector, one lakh in the garments sector and another 40,000 jobs in the printing and embroidery sector of Textile Value chain,” he said.

Western retailers having outlets in India, as well as Indian local brands, are sourcing their goods from Bangladesh, and have also aided in this growth, he said.

Prabhu said this was paradoxical because the government was making best possible efforts to promote ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’ and incentivising job creations in the second most labour intensive sector of India — the textile industry.

Through these schemes, Government was trying to support textile brands and retailing chains operating in India to both establish and expand their business in India, he said.

“Therefore, ITF, being a responsible body and considering the situation of the industry and India’s job creation challenge, urges all brands and retail chains in Indi India to explore possibilities of partnerships with garment hubs of the country like Coimbatore, Tirupur, Karur, Erode, Surat, Ludhiana,” Prabhu said.

He said ITF was ready to take up the responsibility to create a platform for all retailers and brands and would ensure the best possible support and cooperation for engaging them with apparel manufacturing units in all clusters of Tamil Nadu.