Readymade garments traders and textile merchants downed shutters in Vadodara on Thursday, demanding that the Centre roll back the 2 per cent excise duty levied on them in Budget 2016 immediately.
They held a rally from Lenin Centre to the sub-collector’s office raising slogans and later submitted a memorandum to the sub-collector. Urging the Government to withdraw its proposal, they said that they are ready to fight it out.
The Garments Manufacturers and Wholesalers Association (GMWA) of Hyderabad too started a protest against imposition of excise duty on branded ready-made garments priced above Rs 1,000. The tax has been rolled back twice before due to the negative impact it had on the garments trade industry.
GMWA members questioned why the tax, especially when GST was coming into force any day now. GMWA members also said that the tax will have a negative impact on the Make-in-India project.
The traders opined that branded garments will be out of reach for middle class sections with the implementation of 2 per cent excise duty. They said they were already paying 5 per cent excise duty and with the additional 2 per cent, it will drive them into severe losses.
President of Apparel Manufacturers and Marketers Association (AMMA) G V S Harishchandra said that additional excise duty will have an adverse impact on the garment sector. “The garment sector is already crippled and this additional tax burden will wreck the business. More than 60 per cent of small-scale readymade traders will suffer severe losses,” he pointed out.
He said the garment sector generates the second highest employment after agriculture in the state. Members of Vijayawada Textile Merchants Welfare Association expressed solidarity by closing shops in Vasthralatha and Krishnaveni cloth market.