Market tax hurts wool industry in Rajasthan

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Bikaner, Aug 12 : The wool industry at Bikaner in Rajasthan is going through tough times due to the imposition of market tax by the State Government.

The owners, traders and labourers of the factories took to streets to protest against the Government move.

"The 1.6 per cent market tax imposed by the Government is illegal. All the traders and the labourers are protesting against this. This demonstration shows that the Government should accept our demand and withdraw this tax," said Rajesh Kalla, a wool trader.

A huge number of labourers depend on this large wool industry to make both ends meet.

"If the factory is closed, how will we earn our livelihood? The government has imposed tax, but we get only Rs 44 a day. How will we pay the tax?," said Neelam, a labourer.

Around 50,0000 people are directly or indirectly associated with the Bikaner wool industry, which is considered to be Asia's largest.

Rajasthan produces about 40 per cent of the country's raw wool and the sector supports the livelihood of millions of people. The industry is internationally renowned for its ethnic carpets and woolen shawls. By Jethmal Sharma

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