At a meeting of managements of 55 cooperative mills across the states held on Wednesday in Sangli, a decision was taken that all cooperative textile mills in Maharashtra will follow a one day strike on September 1 as the textile sector is facing huge crisis and most spinning mills have no orders for yarn since the past one month and have incurred huge losses.
The mill owners have cited errant government policies and loss of business due to the crash in the China market--a major yarn buyer--as the prime reason leading to this situation.
The mill owners demand a reduction in power tariff, subsidy for exports and soft loans for short term so that they can pay wages to workers. Nearly 36,000 workers are employed in these 55 mills-all spinning units.
SB Bauskar, executive director of Textile Federation of Maharashtra, the apex body of all cooperative textile mills in the state said that despite several requests the government neither reduced the power tariff for textile sector nor offered any other monetary help for existing cooperative mills. Shutting the spindles is the only option to prevent more losses.
It's not only spinning mills, even weaving, seizing and process houses are also having a tough time. Most power-looms in Bhiwandi and Ichalkaranji have been shut for the past 20-30 days.
Ashok Swami, chairman of the Textile Federation, said that Rs 8.5 per unit power tariff and recent revision of minimum wages for workers (which has doubled now) has hurt the weaving and processing mills across the state. Over 14 lakh power-looms in Bhiwandi and 2 lakh in Ichalkaranji-two major textile hubs in the state-are shut since a month. If the government doesn't do anything now to save the industry, the business would shift to other states which offer a more conducive environment.
Moreover, with the shutdown of a large number of cheap sundry processing units due to pollution norms is another reason for affecting the textile industry. As many as 739 textile units in Balotra were shut down following the National Green Tribunal's (NGT) orders. This has created a major problem for Ichalkaranji-based units that produce one crore meter cloth every day. The cloth produced in Ichalkaranji is supplied to Balotra, Bhiwandi (Maharashtra), Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) for further processing.
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