Kash­mir silk un­der threat

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT - JAMMU AND KASH­MIR DOWN TO EARTH

Gover­nor N N Vohra, who is in charge of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the state, has ap­proached the Union Min­is­ter of State for Tex­tiles, San­tosh Ku­mar Gang­war, for in­creas­ing the cus­toms duty on im­ported raw silk from the cur­rent 15 per cent to 30 per cent. The gover­nor has also re­quested Gang­war to take up the mat­ter with the Union fi­nance min­is­ter. Re­duc­tion of cus­toms duty has put at stake the liveli­hood of about 30,000 fam­i­lies en­gaged in the pro­duc­tion of raw silk.

Vohra's spokesper­son says that the re­duc­tion of cus­toms duty on im­ported raw silk in 2010-11 from 30 per cent to 5 per cent ad­versely af­fected the pro­duc­tion in the state. To counter this, the Cen­tre in­creased it to 15 per cent last year. The Cen­tre has in­vested over 113 crore for the devel­op­ment of the state's raw silk in­dus­try, which would be wasted if the in­dus­try is not re­vived.

AN­DREW HITCH­COCK

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