Power loom industry seeks Odisha chief minister’s help – Today Latest News of Surat – Loom Industry Today News
Surat: Leaders of the power loom weaving sector in the city have written a letter to Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik to talk to the prime minister and highlight their plight, where post-GST (goods and service tax), majority of workers from Odisha have been rendered jobless.
The power loom associations from different parts of the city have sent separate letters to Odisha CM, stating that majority of workers in the textile industry – over 7 lakh — are from Odisha with workers from Berhampur in Ganjam district accounting for over 90 per cent of all workforce.
Over 5 lakh workers from Odisha work in the power loom industry alone, earning an average wage of over Rs 18,000 per month. Over 3 lakh female workers are also engaged in the industry in various jobs like cutting of grey fabric and other value added works like stone and mirror work and hand embroidery on saris and dress material.
The workers in the power loom industry are trained on the job and can operate automatic looms like the rapier, waterjet and airjet looms. Such on-the-job training saves significant government investment in vocational training of workers in order to make them industry ready and employable. Workers from Odisha, especially from tribal areas, who are rendered unemployed due to the closure of power loom units, are losing their only livelihood. It would be very difficult for these workers to reskill themselves in a short duration in order to seek employment in another industry, the industry association stated.
Talking to TOI, president of the Pandesara Weavers Cooperative Society Ashish Gujarati said, “There are about 1.27 lakh power loom machines in Pandesara GIDC employing over 70,000 workers, majority of them from Odisha. In the last one year, about 40,000 workers have been rendered jobless from the entire power loom sector.”
Gujarati added, “We have sought the support of Odisha CM to intervene in the matter for the discriminatory GST policy and save the power loom sector as well as workers losing their jobs. Over 1 lakh power looms have been sold in scrap in last one year.”
President of Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association (FOGWA) Ashok Jirawala said, “We have urged Odisha CM to take up the GST issue with the PMO and the GST Council. The power loom sector has a single point demand for refund of accumulated input tax credit (ITC). The refund of ITC will restore neutrality for the man-made fabric industry and save lakhs of jobs.”
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