Polyester fabric production has fallen to a worrisome low since last year.
Surat, the largest man-made fabric hub, saw a decline in production by almost half from 13,000 metric tonnes to 7,500 metric tonnes per annum.
A major reason attributed to this by the textile committee of Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI), in its report, is Goods and Service Tax (GST). Since the imposition of GST, the growth rate of polyester fabric production has decreased by 40 per cent per annum.
The report further states that the higher cost of raw material, including yarn, is posing a major threat to the man-made fabric sector. Also, the import of cheap fabrics from China, Bangladesh and other Asian countries has contributed to the decline in production.
The Central Government has made drastic cuts to subsidies due to which investments have decreased under the Amended Technology Upgradation Fund (ATUF) scheme.
About 7 approved projects under the Group Workshed Scheme (GWS) have backed out due to the reduction in subsidy under ATUF.
According to the report, the MSME weaving sector is one of the important sectors in textile for Centre’s Make in India campaign. To compete with global players, shuttle-less looms are imperative to maintain best quality in weaving. However, restoration of 30 per cent subsidy under ATUF is the need of the hour to encourage and maintain modernisation in the MMF sector, said experts.
Talking to TOI, Chairman of SGCCI’s textile committee, Ashish Gujarati said,“There are issues galore in the MMF sector. Prior to implementation of GST, there were 6.50 lakh powerloom machines in Surat. Post-GST, the total number of weaving machines has been reduced to just 5.50 lakh.”
Gujarati further said that the committee has submitted the report to Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani, too, seeking her intervention.