Strike against GST: Textile mills shut in Surat, lakhs of labourers left without job

This is the plight of lakhs of labourers, working in powerlooms and processing units, who are being rendered jobless as the mills remain shut shops due to the ongoing strike Surat textile traders against GST. The powerlooms will join the strike from Sunday.

Written by Kamaal Saiyed | Surat | Published:July 9, 2017 9:44 am
surat, textile strike, gst, cloth merchants, textile traders, mill labourers, gujarat, indian express The rally by textile traders in Surat. (Express. Files)

“Aap mujhe Rs 500 de do, mai mere biwi aur bachon ke sath gaon chala jaunga. Pehli tareekh se mill bandh hai. Mere paas jo thode paise the, ghar ka kiraya de diya. Abhi mere paas khane ke paise bhi nhi hai… (Give me Rs 500. I’ll return to my village with my wife and kids. The mill is closed since July 1. Whatever little money I had, I gave it as house rent. Now, I don’t even have money to feed my family),” said Vikram Singh (32), a labourer from Uttar Pradesh who worked in a Surat processing (cloth dyeing and printing) unit.

This is the plight of lakhs of labourers, working in powerlooms and processing units, who are being rendered jobless as the mills remain shut shops due to the ongoing strike Surat textile traders against Goods and Services Tax (GST). The powerlooms will join the strike from Sunday. The powerlooms manufacture grey bales (weaved cloth), which are purchased by textile traders who send it to the processing units for dying and printing.

Most of the traders have stopped purchasing raw material from weavers due to which, the powerlooms, which used to run 24×7, are now shutting shops.

Mahendra Ramolia, secretary, FOGWA, said they never witnessed such a situation. “If we go directly to the processing houses for raw material, they demand the GST registration number.” He added there was just 10 per cent to 15 per cent production in Surat powerloom industry till Saturday. “The traders are also not clear about the new tax system. They are in wait-and-watch mode.”

He fears lakhs of workers will become unemployed. “Those from other states will go back. It will become difficult for us to get them back to Surat when the situation turns normal.”

On the other hand, there are around 350 processing units in Surat where over three lakh people, hailing from UP, Bihar, Orissa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and other states, work. Their daily turnover is approximately Rs 70 crore.

With the ongoing strike by the GST Sangharsh Samithi, which started from June 15, the textile processing houses have almost no business. Sources said till now the printing mills were running with leftover stock.

As days are passing by, it is becoming difficult to keep the mills open with no supply of fresh stock. As a result, around 70 per cent of the factories are closed. They started shutting down since July 1. Those functioning are keeping weekly two to three days offs.

Singh, a resident of Bhadohi district in UP, said, “Millwale bol nhi rahe hai kab khulega (The mill owners are not saying when it will reopen),” said the father of two.

Jitu Vakhariya, president of South Gujarat Textile Processors Association, said there is a shortage in supply of raw material, because of which it has become difficult for them to run the factories. “If we keep the factories open, we have to bear other expenses.”

“At present, 70 per cent of the factories are closed and in next couple of days the percentage will go up,” he said, adding the textile processing factories have started applying for GST registrations.

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  1. R
    Ramu gaini
    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:42 am
    Sabse pahle government yeh bath samjh me ki koshish kyu nahi karthi hai ki hamara desh me kethivaadi (former's) me badh sabse bada rojgaar (jobs) dhene vaala field hai textile industry jab hamare kisan bayiyonko ithana yojnaye dheeye jaathe hai aur unka karj bhi maaf karthe hai to hamare liye sauteli maa me pyaar kyo sirf surath me nahi desh ka sabse bada textile industry bhiwandi me Puri tharah Pathan ke Kargar par kadi hai is liye sarkar ko textile pe gst par bahuth jaldhi kuch uchith kadham utana hai
    Reply
    1. S
      surendra
      Jul 11, 2017 at 8:13 pm
      when surat texttile strike end?....we are waiting for lunch...........no money is big problem of life
      Reply
      1. G
        GOUTAM BHAI
        Jul 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm
        GST WILL BRING A GREAT JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATED MASS AND AS A WHOLE THE NATION WILL BE BENEFITED. SO A MUTUAL CO-OPERATION IS HIGHLY NEEDED.
        Reply
        1. D
          dhawal
          Jul 10, 2017 at 10:08 am
          Yes gst should be removed all the textile industry should be exempted from paying tax afterall they are special people gst should only be applicable for common man poor farmers other food industry electronic industry service industry .these people should enjoy special rights .they are the owner of this country.they should only earn money in corroees and we will pay tax for them so that they get good good roads for transportation 24 hours electricity water should be provided to them at cheap and subsides rates.
          Reply
          1. F
            faiyaz
            Jul 9, 2017 at 9:24 pm
            GST ke karan market band hone ki wajah se bahot zada pareshan h aam public jo roz ke kamane wale h,i hope sarkaar jald hi iss pr koi achha feshla kre , behtar hoga ki GST ko hata de.
            Reply
            1. D
              dhawal
              Jul 10, 2017 at 10:39 am
              Yes gst should be removed all the textile industry should be exempted from paying tax afterall they are special people gst should only be applicable for common man poor farmers other food industry electronic industry service industry .these people should enjoy special rights .they are the owner of this country.they should only earn money in corroees and we will pay tax for them so that they get good good roads for transportation 24 hours electricity water should be provided to them at cheap and subsides rates.
              Reply
              1. R
                Ramu Kaka Ka Guru
                Jul 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm
                Dhawal Gyani Go and find out what is the real problem and what all things are these traders demanding . I feel you are the only taxpayer in the nation , owing to which you want to help these "poor" traders
            2. A
              ah
              Jul 9, 2017 at 7:01 pm
              achhcche deen aa gaye bhai , Singh will go to UP and Modi will go to US, Israel amy be Antarctica ..................
              Reply
              1. K
                kunal
                Jul 9, 2017 at 3:22 pm
                Mera desh badal raha hai aur log unemployment Ho rahe hai...
                Reply
                1. R
                  ramu
                  Jul 9, 2017 at 10:10 am
                  surprising this all for 5 percent tax or their some other reason behind it they all know very well
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Ramu Kaka Ka Guru
                    Jul 10, 2017 at 3:59 pm
                    Go and try to find out their real difficulties , instead of commenting on any page ....
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      Nitesh
                      Jul 10, 2017 at 7:17 pm
                      you mentioned many times.. to find real problem.. why don't you explain. Main issue for them is there real turnover of business will be known to govt. and they have to pay IT on them. as far as GST is concerned. it is indirect tax and tax they pay will be finally collected from consumer.
                      1. E
                        Expert
                        Jul 10, 2017 at 9:29 pm
                        If you find this industry immensely profitable , go ahead and take a dive into it... " as people say doosron ki thali mai sabko sona dikhta hai" ... and secondly the thing is that they are not protesting for themselves ...it is for the end consumers ....as the production chain is quite long and the value addition process will shoot up the prices like hell.....If the prices shoot up it is the consumers who will suffer and in the end the suppliers who will lose s. Dude you know only two words IT and GST , if you dont know anything about a business environment then please dont comment much.
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