Note ban, GST caused ₹16,000 crore loss to knitwear business in Tirupur: Minister

Exports fell by 10% in the country, by 5.6% in Tamil Nadu
Textiles and Handlooms Minister O.S. Manian told the Assembly on Friday that the Goods and Services Tax, demonetisation and international competition had severely impacted the knitwear business in Tirupur. The Tirupur knitwear sector, including exports, was worth ₹50,000 crore. Last year, its value dropped to ₹34,000 crore. Knitwear exports fell by 10% in the country and by 5.6% in Tamil Nadu, he said.

The Centre was yet to give ₹500 crore to the knitwear industry in the form of rebate on State levies, he said, adding that the government had asked the Centre to hike the rate of duty drawback to 5%.

Handloom silk discount

The State government announced a 10% special discount on all handloom silk products.

The move would help clear stocks of silk and ensure continuous work for weavers, the Minister said.

The department would give handloom weavers a 10% hike in dearness allowance, benefiting 66,000 weavers in 1,139 cooperative societies. It has set aside ₹5 lakh to improve testing facilities for zari.

DMK MLA P. Ezhilarasan pointed out that the number of cooperative societies fell to 282 in 2017-18 from 868 in 2016-17.

Also, the government had not provided the marketing incentive to weavers, he said.

He sought to know how the sale of silk through the Tamil Nadu Silk Producers’ Federation could fall when the government maintained that the weavers were doing well.

The Minister said the silk industry had been hit as the Centre had not yet given its share towards the incentive. Introduction of GST increased the cost of handloom products, but after the State’s government’s intervention, the GST was reduced to 5%, the Minister said.

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