Mumbai, Aug 23: Around nine lakh powerlooms in Bhiwandi will go on strike from tomorrow, to press for their demands including ban on import of clothes from China.
The Bhiwandi Power loom Association will also send one lakh postcards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to draw his attention towards the crises in the sector.
They are protesting against hike in power tariff, obstruction in their work by yarn producers and are asking for permission to export their cloth. Bhiwandi Powerloom Association spokesperson Sharadram Sejpal said that around nine lakh powerlooms will go on strike from tomorrow.
He alleged that hike in power tariff has always been ignored by the government and that yarn producers are exploiting powerloom owners. "Yarn traders have a strong association and they use their might to change the price of yarn everyday.
It affects the production cost of our cloth," Sejpal said. "There is a slight margin of profit in cloth production since China has captured the Indian market, and in such a situation a difference of Rs 10 affects us a lot," he added.
Sejpal demanded that there should be a ban on import of Chinese clothes as they are cheaper than Indian clothes. "Production cost of cloth depends upon labour charges, power charges and yarn prices. Ultimately, rate of cloth production in India is costlier than that of China, Sejpal said.
"We will send one lakh postcards to the PM and will demand that the government impose heavy import duty on Chinese clothes to protect the domestic sector, Sejpal said. In 2012, same thing was done with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, against Local Body Tax, he added.
A few powerloom owners have decided to keep their looms open as they have already lost Rs 150 crore per day since last Monday.