Morbi ceramic unit-shutdown helping China, says NGO

Written by Express news service | Ahmedabad | Updated: Dec 5 2013, 02:53am hrs
Stating that the shutdown of the 600 ceramic units in Morbi was indirectly helping China and Chinese products, a non-government organisation on Wednesday appealed to both the Gujarat government and the owners of the ceramic units to resolve the issues surrounding the closure.

"The ceramic units in Morbi that employ one lakh workers have been closed since the last seven days. The industry is clocking a daily loss of about Rs 600 crore. This will indirectly help China and Chinese products, said Manoj Patel president of an NGO Morbi Bachao Samiti while addressing mediapersons here on Wednesday.

The real-estate players in Gujarat have already said that they would be forced to opt for Chinese ceramic tiles and sanitaryware if the shutdown in Morbi does not end quickly. The shutdown of ceramic units is expected to impact the real-estate projects that are nearing completion.

"The ceramic owners in Morbi are being charged 100 percent more for the gas (piped-natural gas) that those supplied (by the state government owned company) to the ceramic units in Mehsana and Himmatnagar in North Gujarat. Why this discrepancy," he asked.

"The Modi government has been doling out a number of benefits to corporates, why isnt it helping small industries like the ceramic cluster in Morbi which has invested three times the money, that Tata Nano project has invested," Patel said.

"Local workers and those from UP, Bihar, Kerala and Karnataka who used to earn between Rs 15,000-50000 every month are now employed. So I appeal to both the owners of the ceramic units and the state government to resolve their issues," he added.