A meeting organised to discuss the implementation of a code of conduct for garment manufacturers in India under the Driving Industry Towards Sustainable Human Capital Advancement (DISHA) programme will take place today (21 January).

The second stakeholder consultation, which is being held by Shri V Srinivas, joint secretary of exports in the Ministry of Textiles, will also talk about the DISHA methodology in garment manufacturing factories.

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) launched the pan-India social compliance programme in December 2011 to address some of the concerns and challenges facing the industry.

Some 140 apparel manufacturers and exporters in India have enrolled so far. Factory visits have been initiated in 78 of these, in NCR, Jaipur, Ludhiana, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Tirupur, Maudrai, Kolkatta. Of these 78 factories, 26 have completed at least the 3rd visit of the 6 visit DISHA training programme.

Srinivas said: "As we all know, social and environment compliance has become an important requirement while supplying to the western markets. For India to remain competitive in this scenario, we have to focus intensively on two competitive levers; innovation and social compliance.

"Global apparel buyers are now insisting on full compliance with International and national labour standards, regulations and convention. I am happy that the programme has come out as a robust programme for addressing the industry's requirement for compliance management."

While DISHA sub-committee chairman Shri Ashok Logani said: "Happy workers leads to less absenteeism & reduced over time leading to increased productivity and reduction in production cost. This is the philosophy behind our dedicated training on worker issues."