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Surat textile traders shut shops to protest proposed GST hike

As part of the protest, owners of power-loom units banged rolling pins on steel plates in 35 industrial estates in the city. In JJ Market and Radha Raman Market on Ring Road, the traders participated in "havan".

By: Express News Service | Surat |
December 30, 2021 10:07:09 pm
The GST Council had hiked the GST duty on textile goods from 5 percent to 12 percent.

Over 65,000 textile trading shops across 170 markets in Surat remained closed Thursday to protest against the Centre’s 12 per cent GST hike on textile value chain products. The day-long protest came even as the GST Council is all set to meet Friday in Delhi.

As part of the protest, owners of power-loom units banged rolling pins on steel plates in 35 industrial estates in the city. In JJ Market and Radha Raman Market on Ring Road, the traders participated in “havan”.

The Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA) had announced the strike against the decision to hike the GST on textile goods from the existing 5 per cent on Tuesday. “We have got good support from the textile traders of Surat as not a single shop remained open. We hope that the decision will come in our favour (at Friday’s meeting),” FOSTTA spokesperson Rangnath Sharda told The Indian Express.

The GST Council had hiked the GST duty on textile goods from 5 percent to 12 percent. The new duty structure is set to be effective from January 1.

“The daily turnover of the textile trading market is around Rs 150 crore. Today, as the market remained shut, the traders have suffered a great loss; however, they are looking at long-term benefits. If the decision comes in our favour, we will welcome it with celebrations in the market areas. If the decision comes against our hope or with new 7 percent GST duty or 8 percent GST duty, then we will call meeting among the members and decide our future course of actions,” said FOSTTA General Secretary Champalal Bothra.

Echoing Bothra, Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association President Ashok Jirawala said, “We have seen that the power-loom factory owners (weavers) of 35 associations in Surat have supported the call (for protest). We are also hopeful that the decision to hike GST will be withdrawn or cancelled. If the decision does not come in our favour, we will in coming days carry out further protest programmes.”

On December 14, textile industry associations, along with state BJP president and Navsari MP CR Paatil, had made representations to Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman requesting her to defer the hike in the GST duty on the textile goods.
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