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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

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TN powerloom weavers reiterate demand for Cenvat removal

G. Gurumurthy

Coimbatore , May 25

THE various regional powerloom weavers' bodies in the State have congratulated the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on its assumption of office at the Centre.

In their letters of commendation, the weavers' bodies have reiterated the demand for doing away with Cenvat duty.Their demand ranged from seeking a total withdrawal of the duty to reintroduction of the optional excise duty as was available earlier. In separate congratulatory letters addressed to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the new incumbent in the Ministry of Textiles, Mr Shanker Sinh Vaghela, the Chairman of the Powerloom Development and Export Promotion Council, Mr M. Senthil Kumar, said the powerloom industry's state of health took a beating for the worse since the imposition of the Cenvat duty a year ago. The introduction of the duty at fabric stage thoroughly unsettled the industry and caused enormous difficulties for small time weavers who dominate the sector.

Seeking total abolition of Cenvat on powerloom cloth, he said it would help the weaving industry bounce back to normalcy. Mr Senthil Kumar also suggested withdrawing the excise duty on cotton yarn, the key raw material for the weavers, as this would bring down the cost of production. In order to render fabric production in the powerloom sector price-competitive, he also sought for compensating the State levies such as sales tax on inputs like yarn, chemicals or cotton used in production by the weavers.

In his letter, the President of the Textile Association (India), Mr M.S. Mathivanan, who is also the President of the Confederation of the Indian Weaving Industries, highlighted the need to remove Cenvat duty on fabrics saying that its introduction had paralysed the cotton textile weaving industry.

While requesting the new Government to take remedial measures to offset the impact caused by the duty, he suggested the reintroduction of optional excise duty scheme that was earlier available for the weaving sector. This, he felt, would help the decentralised powerloom industry come out of crisis.

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