Nearly 5,000 textile shops here downed their shutters today seeking the Centre to exempt textile products under GST. The Erode Cloth Merchants Association called for a one-day strike demanding exemption for textiles under Goods and Services Tax. Responding to the call, all textile shops, cloth bleaching and dyeing units, wholesale textile markets and power loom units in Erode were shut. President of the Association, R Ravichandran urged the Centre to exempt the textile products under Chapter 52 of the Central Excise Tariff from the GST completely. They also wanted to exempt power loom-made cotton, home textile products like bedspreads, bed sheets, pillow covers, towels from GST. Ravichandran said, “Levy a maximum of zero percent GST on job works like bleaching, Dyeing, Printing and finishing works like zero zero, calendaring, stentering, felt finishing etc and warping and sizing are to be exempted because at present they are not levied with tax and Rs 1.50 crore exemption given to them under Central Excise of MSME is also gone now.” He said, bleaching, warping and sizing, calendaring printing etc are now exempted under Value Added Tax (VAT).
The textile merchants said the strike affected business worth Rs 50 crore. To press their demands the textile merchants also observed a one-day fast in Veerapanchatram here.