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India should revisit the practice of MRPs to achieve global parity

India’s packaging and labeling requirements are much more stringent than the EU’s. So India’s garment makers should revisit the policy of Maximum Retail Price (MRP) to achieve parity at the international apparel market, feels Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC)’s additional secretary general Vijay Mathur. He said this at the release of World Bank’s “Stitches to Riches” report in New Delhi recently. He pointed out India's growth in the global apparel sector which has been slow could have been accelerated if the country tried to adopt international practices. It hopes that when the India-EU FTA is signed, it will give India a level playing field vis-à-vis Bangladesh which currently has an advantage in the EU markets.

AEPC feels there is a need to dispel the negative perception of India in the mind of foreign investors who think that the Indian trade scenario is sluggish. AEPC has been advocating an increase in the overtime working hours from 50 hours a quarter to 50 hours a month to increase overall production.

Right now research and development activities prevalent in the Indian apparel industry are not recognized. So AEPC feels there is a need, for instance, to consider the experiments in color and fiber undertaken by the industry for sample generation as it is an important step towards business generation.