Middlemen rob weavers 

Middlemen rob weavers 
Highlights

All is not well with weavers of the textile town as middlemen are allegedly taking advantage of demonetisation and are exploiting them.

Note ban

Sircilla: All is not well with weavers of the textile town as middlemen are allegedly taking advantage of demonetisation and are exploiting them. Weavers do not get more than Rs 200 or Rs 300 per day. The middlemen between the weavers and the textile traders are now paying the weavers with Rs 500 currency note. This includes the wages of that day and advance for next day’s work.

But the workers, who toil for about 12 hours per day to get this meagre amount, cannot spare time to stand in queues in banks to get change for the big notes. Here the commission agents are entering into the scene and exploit them, say the worried weavers. They sometimes give change to the Rs 500 note to the weavers but return only Rs 350, deducting Rs 150 as commission.

In textile trade, some weavers are paid weekly wages by their bosses. The big merchants are paying Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to these bosses in advance, depending on the weaving operations due to demonetisation. The big merchants are said to have adopted this method to get their hidden money into circulation.

These merchants pay taxes, but there exists a discrepancy between the tax paid and their actual income. The weavers came in handy to get rid of the accumulated banned currency. There are as many as 12,000 weavers in Sircilla. The commission agents are charging Rs 150 for Rs 500 and Rs 300 for Rs 1,000 to give change.

The locals allege that henchmen of big merchants overnight became commission agents. The taxman and the police should keep a tight vigil on the activities of the commission agents. Otherwise, the weavers will be exploited further, say the locals.

By Gopalakrishna

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