They have also sought a grace period of 06 months to pay the EPF and ETF, since the the industry has collapsed already.
Chairman of the Apparel Exporters' Association - Rehan Lakshani over 400,000 employees are directly employed at around 200 apparel factories. In addition, around 1.5 others are indirectly employed, he notes.
However, with the prevailing situation, it is impossible to summon them all to work at once, he adds.
Risk of entire industry ending in 5 yrs.
Meanwhile, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank - Dr. W.A. Wijewardene says that Sri Lanka's garment industry faces a risk of dying out completely by 2025.
He said that the industry was already continuing amid difficulties before the Covid-19 epidemic hit the country.
He said Sri Lanka's competitiveness in the apparel industry has limited due to wage increases in the country while other countries located near apparel importing nations such as the US, have been using low-cost robotics for the industry.
He said that it is crucial to shift from apparels to ICT-based organizations in order to cope with this risk and notes that there is a good chance for such a policy shift at the moment when the economy has slumped," he said.