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Can the apparel industry help to reverse India’s declining female work participation rate?

A commentary piece in the Economics Times by Arvind Panagariya, former Chief Economist at the Asian Development Bank and previous vice-chairman of the Government of India think-tank NITI Aayog, has highlighted the cost-efficiency of job creation in the apparel sector versus other industries. Comparing Shahi with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) – a large conglomerate with operations in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications – he found that Shahi creates 252 times the number of jobs of RIL with a similar amount of assets. The findings lead to a conclusion that we have been committed to for many years: the apparel sector is a powerful opportunity to create high quality, formal employment, especially for India’s dwindling female workforce.
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