The Union Budget presented by finance ministry Arun Jaitley on 29 February did not mention about the textile industry, which is the second largest employment provider in the country after the agriculture sector, over which experts were surprised and said that the budget is beneficial for companies of big brands instead of the common entrepreneurs who have been doing business for decades.
Ichalkaranji, Bhiwandi and Malegaon are the textile hubs of Maharashtra, where cloth is produced using cotton imported from Vidarbha and other cotton producers. Kolhapur also hosts India's two of the 21 textile parks. The industry in Ichalkaranji, also provides directly or indirectly employment to more than 80,000 people, was expecting incentives to powerlooms and grants for modernization.
Dhanpal Tare, chairman of Indian Powerloom Federation, said that there is hardly anything for the common textile industry in this Budget. He was surprised that the minister forgot the textile industry, which is the second largest employer in India. The industry was expecting something from the Budget as they were aiming for programmes such as Make In India. The export is declining for the last 11 months, under such circumstances, they were seeking incentives from the government to boost export.
Tare said that the textile industry provides more than 50% employment to women and unskilled workers. In the budget, the government has offered to reduce basic customs duty on specified fibres and yarns. The duty has been reduced from 5% to 2.5%, which will benefit readymade garment manufacturers, especially big brands.
Indian technical textile contributes only 1% to the world industry and the minister should have focused on it. The technical textile industry is dominated by China and Western countries where Indian technical textile contributes only 1% to the world industry , the minister should have focused on it. Tare said that they have missed the bus again.
Prakash Awade, former Maharashtra textile minister, too expressed unhappiness over the Budget. They were expecting Jaitely to rescue the industry from recession. Instead, he chose to watch the situation. The powerloom modernization programme started during the earlier Union government's regime may receive a setback.
In the meantime, Maharashtra's textile policy restructuring committee has decided to wait and watch until the discussion over the Budget speech concludes. Ichalkaranji MLA Suresh Halwankar, who is also the chairperson of the committee, said that they will have to study the Budget speech and watch the discussion over it before commenting on anything. He said that once all the details on the budget come out, they will take a call on what is better for Maharashtra.
But they are sure that the finance minister will consider their request of reducing taxes for the industry as it is one of the largest contributors to Indiaâ€™s exports with approximately 11% of total exports.
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