Kakinada: GST on handloom an insult to Mahatma Gandhi, say weavers
- Handloom weavers demand supply of yarn at 50% subsidy
- They also request allotment of three cents of land to weavers for house and shed construction
Kakinada: Handloom weavers demanded the Central government to abolish GST on handlooms products immediately in order to save them from losing their jobs as handloom yarn and colours have become costlier. Several weavers, considering themselves on the brink of starvation, intend to leave their profession and seek some other work, which can generate revenue for their livelihood.
According to sources, 90% of handloom weavers in Andhra Pradesh are working in the master weaving method and they are not getting any financial aid or subsidy from both the Central and State governments.
Kakinada Town Padmashali Sangam president Ponnaganti Satyanarayana said that weavers' main demands are supply of yarn at 50% subsidy and the government should buy fabric left unsold during Covid period.
The weavers requested the government to extend financial assistance through YSR Nethanna Nestham to all without discrimination and delay in order to help them tide over financial difficulties. They also asked the government to make it mandatory to purchase cloth through APCO only. Further, they also demanded allotment of three cents of land to weavers for house and shed construction.
Paidikonda Handloom Society (Paidikonda, Thondangi mandal) worker Kappala Raju Babu told 'The Hans India' that by imposing GST on handloom, the government is insulting Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated use of handloom. He said that some of the weavers have already given up their profession and shifted to agriculture. 'If this situation continues, they will not allow their children to choose this profession.' He also predicted that handloom weavers will become extinct in future, if the government doesn't come to their rescue by helping them with incentives coupled with abolition of GST on handloom products.
Raju Babu demanded for abolition of GST in view of exorbitant rates of yarn, dye, chemicals and others. He requested the officials to sanction pension in view of his age as well as ownership of loom as per the rules.
He said that he is not getting any financial help from the government for the last few years.
Handloom weaver Ponnaganti Varahalababu stated that handlooms industry received setback due to non-release of funds to them from Mudra loans and other schemes. He said power looms have devastated the prospects of handloom industry and fabric made through a power loom
doesn't have any quality and doesn't last longer.
Recently, the Department of Handlooms & Textiles Assistant Director K Peddi Raju conducted National Handlooms Day celebrations in Kakinada. During a meeting, handloom weavers expressed their grievances and requested him to solve their problems.
A weaver, V Babu, lamented that handloom owners, after attaining 50 years, were deprived of regular pension, which is being given to other sections of society. He said that the officials are totally apathetic and unsympathetic towards their woes and financial problems.
When 'The Hans India' contacted Department of Handlooms & Textiles Assistant Director K Peddi Raju, he said that 3,500 weavers are getting pension in Kakinada district and recently pension was sanctioned to 61 weavers. The government is
providing all schemes to the weavers and every year, each weaver family is getting the financial aid of Rs 24,000.