SURAT: The power loom weaving sector in the country's largest man-made fabric (MMF) centre in the city witnessed around 50,000 workers becoming jobless in the last two months, the power loom weaving leaders claimed.

They said 50,000 workers were rendered jobless because more than 80,000 power loom machines had to be scrapped and over 50,000 units shut in the last couple of months due to the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country.

Industry leaders said majority of weavers moving out of the business are those who were doing job work for the master weavers for the last many years. The master weavers are not ready to bear 5 per cent GST on job work and have stopped giving work to weavers. On the other hand, there are many weavers who have taken GST registration, but the unregistered textile traders want the weavers to supply grey fabrics without bill.

Pandesara Weavers' Cooperation Society Limited president Ashish Gujarat said, "There are 800 members in our society. Almost 70 per cent of them have shut their units. If you visit Pandesara GIDC and nearby industrial areas, you won't be able to hear the humming noise of the weaving machines." 

Gujarati added, "Around 300 power loom machines are sold in scrap every day. The scrap dealers from Rajkot and Gandhidham are camping in the city for the last two months to purchase the machines. Earlier, each of the power loom machine would generate Rs 23,000 in scrap, now the prices have gone down below Rs 16,000."

Power loom weaver Mahesh Ginwala scrapped all his 60 power loom machines two months ago. "I had no other option but to move out of the business after 30 long years. The traders are not ready to deal in GST to save tax. The prices of yarn have gone up phenomenally robbing the weavers of their profit margin. Thus, I scrapped all the 60 machines and will use the money generated in other business."

A scrap dealer Rohit Patel said, "We had purchased more than 500 power loom machines in scrap in the last three months. The machines were dismantled in the units and shipped in containers to Rajkot and Gandhidham."

Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association president Ashok Jirawala said, "We are preparing a detailed report on GST impact on power loom weaving sector. Till now, 50,000 workers have been rendered jobless and 80,000 machines sold in scrap. The situation has turned from bad to worse. I feel that the weaving business will go into the hands of established players, including those who have composite factory."

Source  : The Times Of India

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