Countervailing duty on machine import to hit powerloom sector

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Bangalore, Mar 14 (UNI) The powerloom sector, reeling under rising costs and rupee appreciation, will be further hit by the Centre's decision to impose eight per cent countervailing duty on import of new and used textile machinery, Powerloom Development and Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) Chairman M S Mathivanan said today.

Talking to UNI here today, Mr Mathivanan said ''the textile industry is already in distress. It needs an investment of US Dollar 60 billion for infrastructure upgradation, a must to compete China in the international market.'' Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's announcement of eight per cent countervailing duty on both new and used machinery imports from the next fiscal was not in the interest of the industry, he said.

The Finance Ministry should support the Union Textiles Ministry , which had projected the country's textile production at US Dollar 80 billion in 2010, he said.

''The country's textile industry is in bad shape. About 50 per cent of the textile mills in Karur, Tamil Nadu, has been closed.

Many units in Karnataka have also closed down. The small and medium units are the worst affected,'' he said.

Citing rupee appreciation against Dollar as the main reason for the industry's present predicament, he said ''our exports to some of the EU countries is traded on Dollar. The exports posted a negative growth of seven per cent during the third quarter of the current fiscal.'' However, he welcomed the proposed Centre-funded two mega textile clusters at Bhiwandi in Haryana and Erode in Tamil Nadu.

UNI RS AJ 1707

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