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Surat weavers demand relief

Power loom weavers in Gujarat, specifically Surat, want a textile promotion scheme similar to that launched by Maharashtra.
They have asked for an impetus package, lowered electricity tariffs and modernized weaving units. Otherwise, they say, entrepreneurs from Surat will be encouraged to set up units in Maharashtra as the fabric manufactured there will be 40 per cent cheaper than in Surat.

In Maharashtra textile units have been given an impetus package to the tune of Rs 4,600 crores. Electricity tariff has been reduced by Rs 2 per unit. There is a 25 per cent capital subsidy and there is no cap on investment made in the textile sector.

All this has made production costs of units in Maharashtra 40 per cent lower compared to costs in Surat.

GST and demonetisation dealt a blow to the power loom sector in Surat, the country’s largest man-made fabric hub. The withdrawal of high-value banknotes put sudden brakes on the disposable income of consumers. Many power loom weavers shut down their units and more than a lakh conventional power loom machines were sold in scrap.

Where a year ago Surat produced 40 million meters of polyester a day, the figure now stands at only 25 million meters.