In the last one and a half months,as many as 10 textile processing units have closed down in Surat as they failed to cope with the rising prices of gas and raw materials like colour and chemicals.
Three of these 10 processing houses Bhagwati Dyeing and Printing Mills,Rajlaxmi Mills,and Silver Dyeing House,all at the Pandesara GIDC downed their shutters in the last few days,taking the number of closed gas-based units in the last six months to 30.
Besides rising prices of gas and raw materials,experts say,shortage of manpower has also led to the closure of these units.
They say that a majority of the workforce belongs to Uttar Pradesh,Bihar and Orissa and that many of them have gone back to their respective states probably to work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
The number of processing houses in Surat is decreasing day by day. Earlier,the units were coal-based. When supply of gas to industries started,we found its prices cheap at Rs 10 per standard cubic metre and many processing houses opted for gas-based system, said Southern Gujarat Textile Processors Association (SGTPA) president Pramod Choudhary.
Vishal Bhudia,who heads the gas committee of SGTPA,said,Presently,a standard cubic metre of gas costs Rs 29.80. Eighteen months ago,it cost us Rs 11.50. Due to this hike (in prices of gas) many unit owners failed to survive. We have made representations to the state and the central governments for help. But so far,nothing positive has happened. If a unit owner wants to go back to the lignite coal-based system,he will have to to spend crores of rupees.
Choudhary said Chief Minister Narendra Modi had last month announced that the government would soon come out with a Five F policy Farm,Fibre,Fabric,Fashion and Foreign. We are eagerly waiting for this policy for a better future of the industry, he added.