Kolkata, Mar 13 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) The Readymade Garment and Hosiery Industry in the country will observe an All-India bandh on March 14-15 in a bid to continue their protest against imposition of 10 per cent Excise Duty on readymade garment and hosiery items.
The rally will begin from different locations in Kolkata, namely, Central Avenue, Girish Park, Metiabruz, Bankra, Burrabazar and gather at 3pm at Dharamtalla. More than 1lac people are expected to gather to join the protest.
“In furtherance of the continuing struggle of the industry, the Confederation of West Bengal Hosiery and Garment Manufacturers Associations, will jointly organize a Sit-in-Hunger-Strike from 14th to 15th March, at Metro Channel in Dharamtolla, Kolkata,” said an official spokesperson.
The spokesperson further said: “The Confederation reiterates that unjustified levy of Excise Duty will have far reaching deleterious impact on readymade garments and hosiery manufacturers, mostly belongs to small and medium sector, at a time when such units are already over burdened by increase in cost of yarn, fabric and other inputs.
“The cost of cotton yarn and fabrics, principal raw materials of Hosiery and readymade Garment industries witnessed escalation of 100% to 200% during the previous year. This additional burden will further escalate the price of readymade garments as a consequence of which there will be shrinkage in market of these items.
“This will eventually lead to closure of many units which means jobloss to thousands of workers and part-time jobbers in the country.”
The Confederation said the economy of West Bengal, in particular, will be adversely affected on account of closure or market shrinkage of readymade garment units because of imposition of excise duty as West Bengal has the largest concentration of small and medium readymade garments and hosiery manufacturing units in the country.
“Moreover, it is difficult for the small entrepreneurs engaged in readymade garments and hosiery industry to comply with the formalities under the Central Excise Act. They are apprehending harassment that is likely to be unleashed under Inspector Raj,” the spokesperson said.
“The garment fraternity demands continuation of Optional Scheme for excise levy as at present without making the imposition mandatory,” he added.
The Confederation will organize ‘peaceful’ protest marchs, which will start from various points in Kolkata and end at Metro Channel on March 14.
“The Confederation will also demonstrate in front of Local Head Offices of CPI(M), All India Trinamool Congress, Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party in Kolkata on 15 March at 3.00 p.m. and submit joint Memorandum to Parties,” said the spokesperson.