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The Southern India Mills’ Association

Committed to Foster the Growth of the Textile Industry

Weavers demand GST exemption on handloom products, raw materials

Silk yarn depot in Chirala, facelift of Neta Bazar other demands
Ahead of the National Handloom Day celebrations in Chirala, weavers there will press for repealing the GST on yarn, dyes and fabric handloom products .
Faced with competition from mechanised looms, 50,000 looms in and around Chirala have dwindled to 10,000 facing hurdles in sourcing raw material and in finding market for environment-friendly products.
“We add value to our products and go all out to woo health-conscious customers by using organic cotton and vegetable dyes. Yet, we are finding it hard to survive because of competition from power looms,” Indira Abhyudaya Silk Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society president B. Shyam Sundar told The Hindu.
The Neta Bazar in Chirala needed a facelift to improve the market for them, he said
Wait for soft loans
As weavers are forced to go to Bengaluru and Dharmavaram to procure silk yarn, “It is high time a silk yarn depot is set up in Chirala itself,” said Mr. Sundar, adding that the 20% incentive promised by both the governments on products sold by them remained unpaid for three years. A bank for soft loans to weavers was pending.
“For products sold through the Andhra Pradesh State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society, we wait for payment for more than 10 months,” said Jawala Narasimham, weaver.
Subsequent generations were changing professions as weaving was no longer lucrative and viable, said M. Gourishankar of the Sitaramaraju Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society.
The governments should provide house-cum-worksheds on a saturation basis since at least 2,000 applications were pending, added K. Lakshma Rao.