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Carpet & rug sector hit by Punjab Govt apathy

20
Mar '10
Over decades, Punjab's border belt, a region sharing its border with Pakistan, has been famous for its hand-made woollen carpets and rugs.

Nonetheless, the once prospering industry is now on the snapping point. Zeal of local craftsmen has gone down as a result of chronically declining earnings and declining support from the side of government.

In Tarn Taran district and Amritsar, hundreds of craftsmen have been rendered jobless with several factories pulling down their shutters in response to the hefty levies imposed by the Central Government.

Interestingly, the carpet industry customarily has remained male dominated, but women did join the trade as an endeavour to enhance their family income.

Many craftsmen with their families, over generations are engaged in carpet weaving trade, but since the very beginning have not succeeded in making any progress, rather they are strained up under heavy financial burden.

These craftsmen want the government to take into consideration their situation and allocate some funds for them so that they can manage to get more work, along with which they are also desirous of a hike in remuneration.

Some of them who have been in the industry for long also remarked that, a significant change has been noticed in the industry consequential to government's move of increasing levies.

They also divulged that there has been a considerable change in the situation today, as compared to the past when the inflation was low and workers were enthusiastic to work, also the production then was much higher with only eight exporters in all.

Now, the sales are going down and also there is a dearth of skilled workers as, the exporters are struggling to make their ends meet and are moving out of the business owing to higher level of inflation. Skilled workers are also migrating to other vocations.

The industry is on the verge of collapsing and the government in turn has also contributed to the current state of affairs, by imposing a bundle of taxes on the weavers to swipe off all their earnings.

Textile sector being the state's prime revenue source brings in export revenue totalling to Rs 40 billion, accounting for 41 percent of Punjab's exports.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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