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Recession forces Surat weavers to announce holiday
02
May '16
A drastic decrease in the demand of polyester fabrics in the domestic market due to cheap imports from China and increase in the yarn prices by spinners, have forced power loom weavers in Surat to announce an unprecedented month-long mid-year vacation starting May 15.

India's largest man-made fabric (MMF) industry in Surat has around 6.5 lakh power loom machines.

Over the past three weeks, more than 2.5 lakh power loom machines in the city have already shut shop, rendering over 1.5 lakh workers jobless. Most of these migrant workers have already left for their homes in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, while some have found jobs in the embroidery units, according to a report in The Times of India.

President of the Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association (FOGWA), Ashok Jirawala told the newspaper that the powerloom sector is reeling under such a critical recession for the first time in history. He said over 35 per cent of the units have already shut down and the rest will so after May 15.

Surat's power loom sector contributes around 40 per cent of the polyester fabric demand in the country. The 6.5 lakh power loom machines weaves around 4 crore meters of fabrics per day worth over Rs 100 crore and employs around 6 lakh workers.

According to industry experts, the situation has arisen as majority of the weavers still follow the herd mentality. Over 50 per cent of them have been manufacturing same quality of fabric known as '60 gram'. There are very few who have diversified in manufacturing other quality fabrics.

The power loom machines are mostly over 30 years old. High investment costs have prevented most weavers from upgrading to modern machines. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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