The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) members have demanded 50% reduction in the power tariff rates of Surat textile industry. The demand was made before the state industry commissioner officials in a meeting called to discuss the upcoming Textile Policy of Gujarat- 2018.
The SGCCI members shared a chart of the power tariff rates of Maharashtra, where it is between Rs 2 and Rs 2.50 per unit in the textile sector. In Gujarat, it is Rs 7.50 per unit. Head of SGCCI's representative committee Hemant Desai said that due to lower power tariff rates in Maharashtra's textile sector, clothes made there are much cheaper than those by Surat textile industry.
"We have made strong representations to the government officials at Gandhinagar and they have assured us that they will forward it to the government in framing the new textile policy. We don't want incentive or subsidy in new schemes, our demand is just clear reduction in power tariff rates. The machines used in the textile industry are old and require a lot of maintenance. The factory owners face many financial problems for their survival and even cannot upgrade the machines. If cheaper power tariff rates are provided to the industry, then the owners can spend money for upgradation of the machines," Desai said.
He added, "Power tariff is less in the state's agricultural sector. The textile industry is also important for the state. So, something should be done to give a boost to the industry."
There are over 6 lakh powerloom machines, more than 350 textile processing houses and 60,000 trading shops in Surat, where around 18 lakh people are directly and indirectly associated with the industry.