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India's textile minister calls for 'commerce with compassion'

Smriti Irani

 

With the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a 21-day national lockdown. Taking this into account, Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani has appealed to buyers to do 'commerce with compassion' and not to cancel a single order that has already been placed. In her appeal through a video released by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) on March 25, 2020, the minister said, “if needed, delivery schedules can be re-worked and payment plans can be extended”.


Making an earnest appeal to the buying houses, the buyers of the Indian textile and apparel industry, Irani said, "For years you have enjoyed the craftsmanship of our textile industry. Our prime minister has recently announced measures to protect the rights and wages of our workers. Today, I appeal to you. Stand together. Let's show the world that we can do commerce with compassion. Do not cancel a single order that is being placed.”

The industry has responded positively to her call. Triburg, India’s leading buying house, which is working with many top brands and retailers across the globe have expressed their support to the government at this time of crisis. “We stand behind her urgent plea to protect our workers and their families. We all will put ourselves to the task and stand behind her call to do commerce with compassion. We hope our buyers and us, who have partnered with each other through many difficult phases, will work together through this crisis as well,” asserted Jyoti Saikia, managing director, Triburg.

The Federation of Buying Agents is buyer’s council representing the voice of the buyers as their buying agents has also pledged to back the minister’s call and converge all efforts to work together in these times of challenge. Lokesh Parashar, President, Federation of Buying Agents, said, “We welcome the minister’s appeal. We will push the sentiments across to all our members and buyers.”

Deepak Mohindra, Chairman, Apparel Resources, has also asserted the need to show compassion towards your fellow trading partners. “The industry players, both buyers and manufacturers, have always advocated better relationship, total transparency and the importance of showing responsibility towards our social obligation. These are the times that demand it. How can we not come forward and take responsibility! What Smriti Irani said is so true and relevant in today’s world crisis. Together, let’s stand to ‘tough it out’!”

Asking the buyers to give the world an example that commerce can be done with compassion, this timely message of support by the Minister of textiles has created ripples across the sector and created much resonance with leading business players across the globe.