Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has promised that he will appeal to the Union Finance Ministry to reconsider the imposition of 10 per cent excise duty on readymade garments after the Assembly polls.

He was addressing a public meeting here on Saturday seeking votes for the candidates fielded by the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance in Erode district.

The garment industry, Mr. Chidambaram said, had expressed serious concern over the imposition of the excise duty. “I will meet the Finance Minister after the Assembly elections and make an appeal to reconsider the imposition of the excise duty.” The Home Minister, however, clarified that the Small Scale Industries (SSI) with a maximum turnover of Rs.4 crore had been exempted from paying excise duty. Further, the government had given an abatement of 55 per cent. With this relief, a garment unit would continue to be eligible for exemption even if it had a turnover of up to Rs.8.90 crore. Only those units selling branded garments and having a turnover of more than Rs.8.90 crore had to pay excise duty, he said.