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Banarasi silk weavers to bless silk yarn import duty cut: MP Unnao (UP)
Apr '11
Textile industry of Varanasi, worldwide famous for intricately designed Chikan work and luster brocaded (Banarasi Silk) sarees, has been the backbone for the state's economy since years. However, past few years it has been losing its sheen due to various reasons including trade anomalies.

Nevertheless, Eastern U P Exporters Association (EUPEA), and the MP of Unnao – Ms Annu Tandon have jointly streamlined their efforts to reverse the situation.

The very first milestone success in their visionary agenda was reduction of raw silk yarn import duties in recent budget 2011 two months back.

Speaking exclusive with Fibre2fashion team, Ms Annu Tandon , MP of Unnao, informs - “Banaras silk industry is a very big, and is not something that developed in the recent past. Unfortunately, over a period of time, this industry has been noticed losing its charm and influence, not over the question on weavers' ability or intrinsic skills, but because of unavailability of adequate raw material- Silk yarn, a major issue”

Raw material for these sarees is therefore imported from China as it is not manufactured sufficiently in the country due to various inevitable factors one being meager manufacturers in this line.

This dependence on China for silk yarn is definitely a problem for industry in Unnao MP's view, but more so, it is the trade anomaly happening due to import duties on Chinese silk yarn available to industry at very high duty rate of 30% where as Chinese silk fabrics at the rate of just 5%, that had been creating a bigger problem according to Ms Tandon.

Ultimately including labor, production of fabrics in country from imported Chinese yarn was costlier to ready imported Chinese fabrics which were available at much lower price. These had further created unhealthy profit making trend in southern silk makers. In such a scenario, losers were basically poor weavers in Varanasi.

“This anomaly had to be removed, and the matter was conveyed to Sonia Gandhiji, President of Indian National Congress, and she understood it well and supported to bring down the import duty on silk yarn from 30% to 5%,” Ms Tandon brings to notice while commenting in gratitude to Mrs Gandhi and other instrumental companions in the league of successfully reducing silk yarn import duties.

Ms Annu Tandon and EUPEA affirm their confidence in the benefits that this duty reduction is to bring on Varanasi silk sector, and ultimately to weaver class. “They will bless it for the benefits it is to bring and revamp their sector greatly,” assures the MP.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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