G. Gurumurthy

Coimbatore, Jan. 2

THE Southern India Mills Association (SIMA) has deplored the slashing of duty entitlement passbook (DEPB) rates on cotton textile products saying the downward revision in the rates is ill-timed and defied logic when import duty on inputs remained untouched.

Reacting to the Commerce Ministry's latest announcement on the DEPB rates for textile products, the SIMA Chairman, Mr Vijay Venkataswamy, has said the revision, second time in less than four months, has left the exporters of cotton textiles high and dry.

In the case of cotton yarn, the rate was cut from 6 per cent to 3.30 per cent only in September 2004 and it has been now further slashed to 2.40 per cent.

In the case of cotton fabric/made-ups/grey, the relevant rate was cut from 7 per cent to 3.90 per cent first and again now to 2.80 per cent.

While the upward revision of DEPB rates in the case of man-made textile products has set right the anomaly caused by the steep reduction in rates in September last, the Government has now, in the name of rationalisation caused considerable hardship to the cotton textile products, he added.

It was ironic that the Government had now chosen to lower the rates at a time when the textile trade is faced with challenges of quota-free regime.

In this background, the SIMA chief wanted the Centre to reconsider its decision.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 3, 2005)
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