Traders protest over VAT hike

Apparel - - MARKET WATCH -

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’

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