The famed silk weaving industry of Varanasi that was facing stiff competition from China which has been dumping cheap silk fabric heaved a sigh of relief with the Budget hiking customs duty on imported silk fabric from 10% to 20%. With the hike in duty, the industry will now find itself in a position to compete with China in domestic as well as overseas markets.
Traders and weavers associated with the Banarasi silk industry and in major textile hubs like Surat and Bengaluru, who depend on import of Chinese silk yarn, had been demanding the ministries of textiles and commerce to increase customs duty on Chinese and Vietnamese silk fabric as its price had gone down considerably post GST implementation.
President of Federation of Indian Art Silk Industries, Bharat Gandhi said that the hike is like oxygen for the silk weaving industry and China would now will feel the pressure to reduce prices.
He added that President of Varanasi Silk Traders' Association (VSTA), Harshpal Kapoor, said that now, Indian weavers and manufacturers will have a level-playing field in domestic as well as international markets.
"VSTA's yarn coordination committee chairman Vaibhav Kapoor said that the industry started facing problem in September 2017. They gave a representation to the ministry of textiles explaining that the pre-GST price of per 11.6 m Chinese silk fabric was Rs 408.54 while the Vietnamese silk cost Rs 401.87.
The duty on Chinese and Vietnamese silk fabric was 29.44% and 17.39% before GST, but came down to 10% and 0%, respectively, after GST bring the imported Chinese and Vietnamese silk fabric rate down to Rs 368.87 and Rs 343.22, respectively, while Indian silk went up to Rs 404.22.
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