The diamond and textile industries in Gujarat were unhappy, with many of their demands not met in the Union Budget announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday. Representatives of both industries had made pre-Budget suggestions to the Central government on the steps to be taken for the benefit of both industries as over 20 lakh people are associated with them.
The textile industry had been badly affected by demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and e-way bill. The industry experts had claimed that due to the hard steps taken by the government, the downfall of the industry had started as large numbers of shuttle machines had been scrapped in Surat and even the production of textile fabrics had gone down by up to 40 percent. Many weavers and traders switched over to other businesses.
At Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI), experts from different sectors were called and discussions on the Union Budget were carried out. “Expressing shock, the industry experts claimed that the Budget had been made keeping in mind the 2019 General elections and major beneficiaries were farmers and rural people,” said SGCCI president P M Shah.
Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council Chairman Dinesh Navadia said, “We had given suggestions and had pinned hope on the Centre for the betterment of the industry, but our hope has remained hope.”
The Budget has belied the expectations of the the textile industry as well. Federation of Indian Art Silk Weavers Industry (FIASWI) Chairman Bharat Gandhi said, “The import duty on the pure silk had been increased from 10 per cent to 20 per cent which will benefit the local pure silk industry people. This will give major boost to the local pure silk industry. The pure silk manufacturers are found in Surat, Bhagalpur, Varanasi, Bengaluru, etc.”
The Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association president Manoj Agrawal said, “The local textile industry has been facing great problems due to input tax credit in GST, e-way bill and the recommendations were not looked at. Some relaxations were expected from the Finance Minister, but nothing has come out. The daily production in the industry has gone down by 40 per cent after GST and e-way bill.”
Girdhargopal Mundra, chairman of Madhusudan Group, a major textile group of Surat, said, “The Budget was unsatisfactory for the textile industry. The Government should have thought about taking steps to increase the GDP, and for that some promotions should be given to textile exports.”