Dear Friends,

Apparel - - From The President's Desk -

The slow down all of us were fear­ing, and in fact won­der­ing why it had not yet hap­pened, fi­nally seems to have come about in Novem­ber. Quite frankly, when Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber both went past rea­son­ably good, I was be­gin­ning to feel that we would be through. It looked as if our sins of ex­ces­sive dis­count­ing and bullish pro­jec­tions were for­given, and all was well.

Un­for­tu­nately, that does not seem to be the case. Post-Diwali has been a dis­as­ter—one which some might say, some­what sneer­ingly—a dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen. Af­ter all, what else can you ex­pect af­ter nearly a Month and a half of mas­sive dump­ing dur­ing July and Au­gust, and some form or the other of Pro­mos con­tin­u­ing even dur­ing the Peak Months of Fes­ti­vals? And we seem to be back at do­ing what we can’t seem to do without these days— Dis­counts and Pro­mos! Even for­mats, which boldly de­clared that they may not have an EOSS, ap­pear to be join­ing the crowd and have an­nounced their EOSS Sched­ules. I know I am re­peat­ing my­self, per­haps ad nau­seam, but trust me—UN­LESS WE, AS AN IN­DUS­TRY, STOP THESE 5-6 WEEKS OF DRAS­TIC DIS­COUNT­ING AT THE END OF EACH SEA­SON, WE CAN NEVER HOPE TO HAVE MORE THAN ABOUT 18-20 WEEKS OF GOOD SALES IN A YEAR. But then, Wiser Men than me run the In­dus­try, and I am hop­ing they know some­thing that I don’t, and till then, good luck to Con­sumers! An in­ter­est­ing Rec­om­men­da­tion has come from one of our Mem­bers. As you would know, an Im­porter of Gar­ments has to pay a Min­i­mum Spe­cific Duty on all Gar­ments, based on the Prod­uct Cat­e­gory of the Im­ported Item. These Spe­cific Du­ties were fixed some 20 years ago, when the Dol­lar/Ru­pee par­ity was close to 1:30. Today, when the par­ity has changed to 1:63, surely there is a case for re­vis­ing the Spe­cific Du­ties. Af­ter all, if, as the Govern­ment in­sists, there is stress on job cre­ation, what bet­ter way than to make Im­ports more ex­pen­sive and en­cour­age more Do­mes­tic Pro­duc­tion? CMAI is work­ing on this Pro­posal, but if there are any sug­ges­tions in this re­gard, do send them in soon.

Till then, a Merry Christ­mas to all!

Rahul Me­hta

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