`Prices should be fixed at reasonable levels'
COIMBATORE: Levy of four per cent special additional duty on imported looms, 10 per cent basic excise duty on accessories and the benchmark prices for second hand imported shuttleless looms (under Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme) have made machines costlier by about Rs. 1.5 lakh a loom, says the Chairman and Managing Director of Palladam Hi-Tech Weaving Park, M. Senthil Kumar.
According to him, importers of second hand shuttleless looms get an interest subsidy of about Rs. 2.25 lakh irrespective of the cost of the loom. The Union Ministry of Textiles has fixed benchmark prices at Rs. 11.20 lakh a loom though the current market price is nearly Rs. 15 lakh.
Most of the importers are small-scale entrepreneurs and hence, prices should be fixed at "reasonable levels".
Apart from this, the Centre imposed SAD on imported shuttleless looms pushing up the effective import duty to 9.39 per cent "Even though the levy looks small it will have serious impact on all hi-tech weaving park projects as, in almost all such parks, small entrepreneurs are the key players."
Hence he appealed to the Centre to exempt shuttleless looms from the SAD.
In the Union Budget this year, the Centre had withdrawn import duty concessions for specified textile machinery. Hence, the accessories for imported shuttleless looms now attracted 10 per cent Basic Excise Duty.
"The imposition of SAD and increase in duty on accessories thus results in a cost increase of about Rs. 5 lakhs for a set of four looms." He appealed to the Union Ministry of Textiles to continue the facility of importing accessories for shuttleless looms at the same import duty applicable to machinery.