Chinese Silk

Higher Import Duty On Chinese Silk Demanded

Chinese SilkAn all-party delegation from Karnataka led by state’s power minister, DK Shivakumar called on finance minister Arun Jaitley, commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman and textiles minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar in Delhi recently, to highlight their concerns on the reduction in import duty on cheap Chinese raw silk. They also handed over a letter of the chief minister, Siddaramaiah to the union ministers.

This followed the reduction from 15 per cent to 10 per cent on Chinese raw silk, announced in the 2015-16 Budget, which resulted in steep decline in prices in the raw silk and cocoon markets, throwing the local manufactures of raw silk out of business. They urged the centre to increase customs duty to 30 per cent or at least restore it to 15 per cent.

DK Shivakumar said Jaitley himself had told them that Varanasi and Karnataka are facing a similar problem due to China silk. Despite assurances from all the ministers that the import duty cut will not be implemented, the centre has gone ahead with this. This has forced Karnataka sericulturists to stage ‘dharnas’ and ‘rasta rokos’, in an effort to save their livelihood.

Karnataka is also using its silk connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi, in an effort to help its sericulture farmers. Karnataka is hoping that Modi will listen to the need of his constituents and intervene to help the Karnataka sericulturists.

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