Khadi workers must be paid more: KVIC Chairman Vinai Saxena
Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Kalraj Mishra, on Friday, hoped to get Khadi products out of the newly-implemented Good and Service Taxes (GST) bracket in the coming days. As per the new GST norms, 5 to 12 percent GST had been imposed on different Khadi and Village Industries products.
While addressing the meeting of Khadi Institutions of the country here at India Habitat Centre on Friday, Mishra said that for the larger interest of weavers and spinners associated to Khadi industries, the GST panel had started analysing the pros and cons of GST exemption, to benefit the workers, weavers and spinners – associated with Khadi. "Even the Finance Minister had assured me to give a GST exemption for the financial development of otherwise economically backward lot of weavers and spinners," he said.
Mishra also laid stress upon organising exhibitions at all the Embassies and High Commission, to make Khadi a global brand. He also expressed concern over the idle properties including land and buildings at different places.
Expressing concern over decreasing numbers of artisans in the Khadi sector, Minister of State for MSME Giriraj Singh said that all-round development of Khadi sector would remain a mirage, without providing a sustainable economic growth to the artisans. "No one knows the reason that how the number of artisans came down from 11 lakh in 1950 to nearly 2 lakh at present. We must not forget that they are the roots of the tree named Khadi. If we'll permit the roots to wither away, the tree will automatically fell down," he said, adding, "If Arvind, Mafatlal or Raymond use the USP of Khadi and make mammoth profit, we must permit them to plunder the premiums of our artisans. The ray of hope and sign of happiness on faces of artisans should be our priorities."
Singh also laid stress upon the need of more lucrative incentives in Khadi sector – to pave way for the new entrants.
On the other hand, hoping GST exemption for Khadi, Minister of State for MSME Haribhai P Choudhary said that the matter had been brought in the cognisance of panel made to it and very soon it would be sorted out. He also appreciated KVIC Chairman Vinai K Saxena's novel initiative to introduce Khadi in Gujarat schools.
Earlier, maintaining KVIC's commitment for the betterment of people associated with Khadi products, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, in his introductory speech, said that the time has come to work for the enhancement of their wages. "Lower wages with respect to other organisations, not only blow down the morale of our adroit workers, rather it also has stopped paving ways for the new generation of entrepreneurs in this particular segment," he said.
Expressing concern over the non-profitable and dormant assets of Khadi institutions at different important places in the country, the KVIC chairman said that an amicable plan was being chalked out to make the optimum uses of those assets. "Always considered a soft target for land-sharks and anti-social elements, we need to either revamp or dispose off these assets – to deposit our long-pending liabilities as loans from different institutions," he said.
Welcoming the textile giants, interested in designing and selling Khadi clothes, Saxena cautioned the Khadi Institutions to understand their motives before heading for a deal with them. "First, they must ensure maximum benefits to our artisans and then they must have an equal eye for them right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari," he added.
Earlier, Union Minister of MSME Kalraj Mishra along with his Ministers of States Giriraj Singh and Haribhai P Choudhary kicked off the meeting with kindling the lamp and paying flowery tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, followed by an open session of Khadi Institutions' representatives.