NATIONAL

Silk duty: Union Minister invites Manju, Simha to Delhi for talks

Union Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar has invited Karnataka’s Sericulture Minister A. Manju and MP from Mysuru Pratap Simha to New Delhi to discuss their demand for increasing import duty on silk.

Mr. Gangwar, who assured to help the sericulture farmers of Karnataka, said that since import duty comes under the Union Ministry of Commerce, there was a need to discuss the matter with the Ministries concerned.

Mr. Gangwar was speaking after his attention was drawn to the difficulties faced by sericulture farmers in Karnataka following a reduction in import duty on silk.

The import duty on raw silk, which used to be around 30 per cent a few years ago, was brought down from 15 per cent to 10 per cent in the last Union Budget. This decrease brought down the price of Chinese silk, which in turn led to a decline in price of cocoons reared in Karnataka.

Mr. Gangwar on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for the Mega Silk Cluster in Mysuru, the first of its kind in the country, and inaugurated a national workshop on ‘Innovative Technologies and Best Practices in Sericulture’ at Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute (CSR&TI) here.

On the occasion, Mr. Gangwar also felicitated a total of 54 farmers from 27 States for their “outstanding performance” in sericulture.

Earlier, Mr. Manju complained about the price volatility of cocoons and silk in the State and urged the Centre to consider increasing the duty on imported silk to ensure that the interests of farmers from Karnataka are protected.

Meanwhile, Mysuru Lok Sabha MP Pratap Simha sought the Minister’s help in facilitating the tobacco farmers in the region take up sericulture.

Textiles Secretary, Government of India, Sanjay Kumar Panda, who spoke on ‘Emerging Challenges of Sericulture in India’, emphasised on the need to bridge the demand and supply gap of silk in India.

Presently, India, which produces 29,000 tonnes of silk per annum, needs to import raw silk and silk fabric to the tune of 6,000 to 7,000 tonnes mainly from China to neutralise the growing demand.

On the occasion, new mulberry variety MSG 2 and silkworm breed S 8 X CSR16 were also released.



The import duty on raw silk, which used to be around 30 per cent a few years ago, was brought down from 15 per cent to 10 per cent in the last Union Budget, leading to a decrease in the price of Chinese silk, which, in turn, caused a fall in the price of cocoons reared in Karnataka