There is some good news from the finance ministry for the keen watchers of the GST barometer in the textile industry.
At the onset, the finance ministry decided that there will be no tax on silk and jute fibers. Also,apparels costing below Rs. 1000 will be taxed at 5 per cent.Textile weavers are exposed to around 102-104 decibels of sound according to a study by National Institute of Occupational Health, much more than the legally permissible 90 decibels and putting them at severe risk of hearing damage.
Most units register as shops or other establishments rather than factories, which would mandate them to limit exposure to high noise levels to eight hours and pay extra for overtime.Yet labour department and local government officials said they had not received any noise-related complaints from workers.“We only get complaints of non-payment of wages that we settle,” said PD Patel, an inspector with Surat’s civic body, which is responsible for checking the units.The penalties for exploitation offer little deterrent however. Nearly 200 employers were penalised with fines between Rs 25 and 750 in 2016 for violating guidelines on work hours or not giving lunch breaks, Mr Patel said.Bikes,trucks, vans and cars ferrying around colourful fabrics are a common sight on Surat’s streets.
But just a few miles from the bright, bustling markets are soot-covered buildings,surrounded by piles of rotting waste and filth, where the workers live.