By Vikas Sharma
Ludhiana’s knitwear industry is expecting that the excise duty imposed on branded garments in Union Budget 2011 shall be waived off in this year’s Budget.
“For industrialists, the imposition of excise duty on branded garments in the Union Budget 2011 was a big shocker and has led to harassment and unnecessary burdens on manufacturers,” said Darshan Dawar, President , Ludhiana Knitwear Club in his memorandum submitted on Monday to Sumit Bose, Secretary Revenue, Ministry of Finance, for pre-budget suggestions.
“Already, the textile industry is facing threats from garments imported from China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, mainly because they are cheaper,” said Dawar.
“Since the knitwear industry is finding it tough to increase prices of hosiery products in proportion, it fears that it may loose its identity as a hosiery cluster’,” added Dawar.
Dawar also demanded reservation for small and medium-scale units under the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) scheme. “From the allotted funds for TUFS, a minimum 50 per cent should be kept reserved for the small and medium scale sector,” he said. The hosiery and textile industry is looking to address the labour shortage problem by upgrading their technology so that the requirement of labour is minimised. TUFS has helped textile industries to get mechanised.
The industry also has requested P. Chidambaram to allot an exhibition centre for the Ludhiana hosiery industry.
“The industry holds various events and exhibitions every year.
However, due to the absence of an exhibition centre, the industry is facing problems. In the absence of a stable and spacious venue, Ludhiana industrialists have to put up temporary set ups to organize the events and exhibitions which consume both time and money. An exhibition centre could help the industry address this problem,” industry members told Business Standard.
The industry also urged the government to keep a check on rising interest rates which are impacting margins for industries, especially in the small and medium sector.