The Rs 80K crore synthetic textile industry in Surat bears the brunt of the lockdown
Surat: The textile industry in Surat, which produces 60 per cent of the synthetic sarees in the country accounting a turnover of a whopping Rs 80,000 crore, is faced with huge losses following the nationwide lockdown.
According to Jitubhai Vakharia, President, South Gujarat Textile Processors’ Association, there may be an estimated loss of over Rs 1,000 crore if the lockdown is extended. He said, “Close to Rs 800-1,000 crore loss could be incurred by the textile industry itself as the lockdown might be extended.”
Speaking about the lakhs of workers engaged in the industry, Vakharia claimed, “The craftsmen are anxious, so we decided to provide ration after every fortnight to ensure that they do not go hungry.”
He even claims that the industrialists assisted workers who wished to go home to their native places with Rs 1,000 each. “With help from the Pandesara Police, we have been able to send back quite a few workers by train and bus.” Vakharia agrees more needs to be done.
“The arrangements made to send workers back to their states are not enough. Even if we keep going at this rate, it will take close to a month to do so,” he said.
Meanwhile, he welcomed that the railways have partially resumed passenger train services after over one and a half months. He said, “We whole-heartedly welcome this decision of the Central Government to re-start the trains.” Vakharia said the government must provide soft loans to the textile industry to kick-start economic activities.
“Whatever money the government gives us, it must be considered a soft loan at an interest of 2-3 per cent and we will pay the government back in a few years. Once we get the money, we can resume our business,” he added.