The Centre has revised the goods and services tax (GST) on textile from 18% to 5% in last meeting on Saturday. However, textile industry in Surat seems unhappy with the decision and considering to resume the protest against GST. The GST Council had on Saturday decided on a cut in rates on job work, from 18% to 5%. However, this has brought cheer to only the garment industry, not to the synthetic and fabric-based textile industry that largely located in Surat. Tarachand Kasat, president of GST Sangharsh Samiti of Surat, said, “Surat is a hub of synthetic and fabric-based textile. The recent decision on GST rates will not impact us in a large scale. Moreover, we had demanded removal of 5% tax and easy filing of return. The samiti will meet and interact with the traders on Tuesday or Wednesday to decide strategy to recall the protest.”
The traders in Surat had called off their two-week-long strike on July 18 against the imposition of 5% GST on textiles following the Centre’s assurance to look into their demand. Thousands of textile merchants in Surat had shut their shops to protest the new tax structure. The trade has also demanded 18-month time for implementation of GST. However, the council has refused the demand.
Surat’s textile industry employs about 1.5 million people, spread in spinning, weaving, dyeing and processing, trading and garmenting, through nearly 20,000 manufacturers, including power looms, 75,000 traders and 150 wholesale markets. Of this, garmenting forms a small portion. The bulk is in spinning, weaving, dyeing and processing, as well as trading of fabrics, sarees and dress materials.