Surat: After selling one lakh conventional powerlooms in scrap due to adverse impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetization in the country’s largest man-made fabric (MMF) hub of Surat, weavers are now beginning to invest in electronic jacquard weaving machines in the hunt for profits. Most of the powerloom weavers in Sachin GIDC and Hojiwala industrial estate in Sachin who either had scrapped mechanical jacquard and powerloom machines or sold them in the market are now shifting to manufacturing on the highly advanced electronic jacquard machines. Over 250 powerloom weavers have applied for subsidy under Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme for electronic jacquard machines with an estimated investment to the tune of Rs2,000 crore in the next two years.
At present, 1 lakh mechanical jacquard machines manufacture about 25 lakh metres of cloth per day and 9,000 electronic jacquard weaving machines over 1.5 lakh metres of cloth per day. Sachin Weavers Association president Mahendra Ramoliya said, “Electronic jacquard weaving machines are imported from China and Germany and there are indigenous manufacturers as well. When it comes to cost factor, electronic jacquard weaving machines are low cost and give maximum profit. Electronic jacquard weaving machines can manufacture a variety of fabrics ranging from garment, hosiery, sari, dress material, bed sheet and specialized fabric for footwear too.” Ramoliya added, “When one worker can operate four mechanical jacquards, a single worker can operate eight electronic jacquards weaving machines. Also, manufacturing cost is lower by Re1 to Rs1.5 per metre compared to mechanical jacquard.” Raju Patel, a powerloom weaver in Sachin, who has ordered 20 electronic jacquard weaving machines, said, “After GST and demonetization, the condition of weaving sector has deteriorated. We want electronically advanced machines for quality, quantity and to reduce cost.