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GST hits power looms in Surat

Surat’s textile markets bear a deserted look. Power looms shut for Diwali have yet to open. First it was demonetization and no its GST. Power loom production has dropped by half as 90,000 looms have shut and 50,000 labourers have lost their jobs. Traders say filing returns has become next to impossible.

Traders in Surat are demanding an uniform GST structure in the entire textile value chain. Traders would have to pay five per cent GST but won’t be able to use the input tax credit. On the other hand, the cloth manufactured by the composite units will be much cheaper. This, they say, will dent the margins of traders and weavers and lead to job loss in the sector.

They fear after GST implementation, the textile trade will be on the verge of closure. Traders, weavers and even synthetic yarn manufacturers fear they won’t be able to survive in the GST regime. Surat is the country’s largest manmade fiber wholesale market. Small traders having a turnover below Rs 70 lakhs per year are experiencing difficulty in sending their goods to other states.

Implementation of GST has led to many problems for traders. Grey fabric manufacturers are not giving goods on credit and want cash payment. This has created a lot of problems for small traders who can't arrange for hard cash.