Garment retailers to go on strike today

Garment retailers nationwide will observe a day-long bandh tomorrow protesting the proposed mandatory 10 per cent duty on branded garments in the recent Union Budget, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) said here today. Gujarat Garment Manufacturers Association will join the strike.

It is expected that retailers, including leading department stores like Pantaloon, Big Bazaar, Shoppers Stop, Westside, Globus and Reliance, among others, will join the token strike, CMAI President Rahul Mehta said in a statement here.

The provision was aimed at bringing the branded ready made garments under the excise net. Earlier, the excise duty on branded apparel was voluntary. But henceforth, the branded apparel manufacturer will have to compulsorily pay the excise duty of 10 per cent.

The associations have agreed to meet concerned ministers and officials to appraise them of genuine hardship of the garment trade for rollback of excise.

Mehta said that he had submitted a memorandum to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and has obtained an appointment to meet him on March 11.

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