Traders protest over VAT hike
Retailers, mostly garments shop owners in Patna, have initiated a massive protest against a recent hike in value added tax (VAT) and entry tax on garments and several food items. Most garments shops in commercial hubs such as Khetan Market, Hathuwa Market, Patna Market and others were closed on Thursday and readymade garment stores also joined the protest.
The owners protested against inclusion of saris and textile fabrics under VAT, and entry tax on procurement of garments from other states. “The state government is imposing excessive tax on garment retailers and those trading in several food items to increase its revenue. Neither entry tax nor additional VAT is levied on textile fabrics and ready-made garments in the neighbouring states, including Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Thus, such a move would lead to reduced sale of these items and increase corruption,” said Mukesh Jain, President, Bihar Garment Manufacturer and Retailer Association. The country’s overall exports of textiles and clothing may stand at US$ 40 billion in 201516, similar to last year’s level, a senior official said. “We see the slowdown in China as an opportunity and are looking at US$ 40 billion of textiles exports this year. To overcome global slowdown, the Textile Ministry will give full support to the industry,” said Dr Kavita Gupta, IAS, Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India. She was speaking after inaugurating the 62nd National Garment Fair organised by the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI). The country’s overall exports of textiles and clothing stood at US$ 41.4 billion in 2014-15 and US$ 39.31 billion in 2013-14.
Commenting on the new textile policy, Gupta said the draft is ready. She said that with a 13 per cent share, technical textile industry is emerging as a sunrise sector. “The technical textile industry is projected to grow at 20 per cent year-on-year and the segment’s potential is largely untapped in the country,” she added.
‘Textiles exports may remain flat at US$ 40 billion in FY16’