The government is working on a policy to limit the flow of cheap cloth in India for which it is contemplating imposing a â€œdumping dutyâ€ on cloth that comes from China. A policy regarding the issue would soon be made in the Parliament, said Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday.
The minister also visited several powerlooms in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra and interacted with the workers ensuring them about reviving the sector.
The minister, while talking about her meeting with the textile councils, scheduled for next week, said that she would also be meeting industry representatives from the textile towns in Bhiwandi, Malegaon, Icchalkaranji and Coimbatore.
Kapil Mital, BJP MP from Bhiwandi was a part of ministerâ€™s delegation on Saturday. Talking about the hardship workers have to face because of cloth imported from China, he said that the government is working on changing the existing policy where cloth is imported from China and instead impose a dumping duty on imports.
According to one of the powerloom owner, Sharandram Sejapal Irani was the first union textile minister to ever visit Bhiwandi. Irani was shown around the plant where she inspected the machines that were shut down due to these problems.
Sejpal demanded that the sector sees a boost in exports and Chinese cloth is stopped from entering the country. He said that the minister has also promised to address the issue of hike in electricity prices.
According to Purushottam Vanga, Vice Chairman, Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council, about 60 percent of the 7 lakh powerlooms are lying shut because of demonetization and around 80 percent of their workforce are migrants and half of them have returned home simply because their payments, which is made in cash, twice a month, could not be made. Vanga also said that the minister has promised to address the issue of decreasing sales of readymade cloth in the market following demonetisation.
Irani during her visit finding that many of the workers do not yet have a bank account said that she would be speaking to the district magistrate and chiefs of all banks to quickly open accounts. She also said that forms of 2,000 workers has already been submitted to banks and once the bank accounts open, she assured that the workers would be taught to operate the services through smartphones.
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