Powerloom weavers and textile traders are upset over a tweet by CMO Gujarat on GST rate cut on polished diamonds to bring shine in the diamond industry. In a tweet, CMO Gujarat has posted an artwork carrying the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the top and CM Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitin Patel in the bottom congratulating the diamond industry of Surat for the major benefit due to the GST rate cut on polished diamonds and valuable gemstones from 3 per cent to 0.25 per cent on Friday.
This tweet has gone viral on the whatsapp groups of the textile fraternity in the city asking chief minister Vijay Rupani and his government whether they consider Surat a textile city or not?
The country’s largest man-made fabric (MMF) sector, especially the powerloom weavers and traders are highly disappointed that the GST council has again slashed GST rates on many items, but chose to ignore the textile sector. The weavers and the traders have been lobbying hard from the last many months in the Central Government for the relief and simplification of the GST law, but in vain. Many in the textile sector have been discussing that Central government may have showered the blessings of GST relief on the diamond sector to reciprocate the astounding victory of the BJP candidates in all the four assembly constituency in Surat falling under the Patidar-dominated areas and rejecting the Patidar reservation agitation. “Weavers are demanding refund of the input tax credit (ITC) from the day one of the GST implementation, but the GST council and even the Central government is not responding. The diamond sector had not sought the reduction of GST on diamonds from 3 per cent to 0.25 per cent, still they have got the benefit” said president of Pandesara Weavers’ Cooperative Society Limited, Ashish Gujarati.
Gujarati added, “The CM considers only diamond industry in Surat and what about the presence of country’s largest MMF industry?”
Chairman of Federation of Surat Art Silk Weaving Industry (FIASWI), Bharat Gandhi said, “We have submitted our demands and will wait till the union budget gets over. If our demands are not met then we will launch the agitation in a peaceful manner by wearing black ribbons” Senior leader of Federation of Surat Textile Traders’ Association (FOSTTA), Devkishan Manghani said, “For the Chief Minister of a state, all industries should be equal. When it comes to Surat, there are only two big industries—diamonds and textile. If one brother gets something, a father should not demoralize the other son”