Hyderabad: IT Minister KT Rama Rao has sought several concessions and incentives for the handloom and textiles sector to protect the livelihood of millions of workers in the sector that have been contributing to the country’s GDP and exports.
In a letter to Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, Rama Rao, pointing out that it was imperative for the State and Union government to work together to protect the workers in these sectors, sought among other things, resumption of operations, providing wage support of up to 50 per cent of wages, contingent on continued employment of workforce for a period of up to 6 months, in the form of a long-term loan, allowing the industry a one-time extension of 3 months for deposit of statutory dues of PF and ESI, facilitate higher temporary credit facilities (up to 30 per cent of current limits) to meet cash losses during this slowdown, complete interest waiver or an interest subvention scheme of 2-3 per cent on all loans (including working capital credit) availed by the sector, a special moratorium of 1 year and incentive to exporters.
Pointing out that the Union government had announced Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme for apparel and made-ups segment, the Minister said it was also important that RoSCTL is extended to other segments like yarn and fabric as well. “This will enable the intermediate segments to improve their operational sustainability,” he said, adding that the Centre should also consider additional incentives to exporters for a period of one year to tide over this crisis. Any incentives to exporters will also indirectly support the domestic value chain, he contended.
Rama Rao, stating that a common refrain from the industry was for expediting the pending refunds of GST, which will release cash and in turn enable the industry to meet payments to workers and other vendors, he said steps should be taken to enable wider market for the piled-up handloom fabric and finished products on national and international e-commerce platforms.
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