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Textile Industry Analysis

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GST- HANDLOOM AND TEXTILE SECTOR
INTRODUCTION
The Textile industry contributes 2% to India’s GDP .India is the largest producer of cotton and jute and second largest producer of silk and manmade fibre and filament in the world. Cotton majorly dominates the yarn and the fabric stage. Who produces them? The handloom and textile weavers. Any loom which is operated manually is called a handloom whereas textile is a flexible material composed of natural or synthetic fibres, formed by weaving, knitting, knotting etc. The textile industry employs the maximum number of people after agriculture. It directly employs upto 50 million and indirectly upto 60 million people (approximately). The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is the biggest tax reform in India
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The majority of weavers are women (77.9% of the workforce). About 87% people work and live in rural areas and 13% in urban areas. Their living conditions are pitiable and 54 % weavers live in ' Kutchcha' houses, 31 % in semi-pucca houses and only 15 % live in pucca houses. About 9.7 % of weavers are having AAY cards (Antyodaya Anna Yojana), 36.9% have BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards, 34.5% have APL (Above Poverty Line) cards and only 18.9% are ration cards. Coming to their literacy levels, 29 % have no schooling at all while 12.7 % have below primary level qualification, 18.2 % have primary level education and 22.9 % have reached the middle schools.
The increasing prices and shrinking markets for the finished goods of the handloom sector has further increased distress faced by the weaver community pushing most of them into debt trap For example: fabric yarn that is made at a place, could be dyed at a second place, woven at a third, printing taking place at a fourth and so on. At every stage there would be a GST that would be attracted and despite all these stages being the start to finish for the same single product, the multiple GST that the stages attract, pile up to make the product much costlier than before the GST
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They are not against GST but against the tax rate which is levied, has the potential to ruin this industry. There was a three-day strike by textile traders in West Bengal. The cloth markets in major Gujarat cities, including Surat, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar and Rajkot, remained shut. In the strike called by the Erode Handloom Cloth Merchants Association, about 3,000 odd textile shops here remained closed. Cloth merchants observed state-wide bandh in Rajasthan. A string of shops on Cotton Street, Satyanarayan Park and the adjoining street in Burrabazar, one of east India’s largest wholesale hubs remained

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