Powerloom weavers in Salem on day-long strike

Salem: Powerloom weavers in Salem, Erode and Namakkal districts of Tamil Nadu went on a day-long strike on Wednesday to protest against the recent amendment to the Income Tax rules, which they fear will deny orders to micro and small-scale weavers.

The Tamil Nadu Federation of Powerloom Associations has, in a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, said that the amended rules will come into effect from April 1 and that the fabric buyers were already not sourcing products from micro and small-scale weavers.

According to the new I-T amendment, if a buyer has not paid his/her dues to micro or small-scale weavers for more than 45 days by March 31, 2024, the outstanding amount will be disallowed as an expenditure.

This would lead to considering this as the income of the buyer and will be a burden on the taxpayer. The association in a statement said, “Even though the Act said that it may be disallowed in the next year if the payment is made, this will not create any impact on the Income Tax payments.“

The Powerloom federation in the memorandum further said, “Some corporate buyers who source fabrics, especially finished products such as sarees and dhotis, from the weavers make payments just twice a year and now they are moving to larger suppliers and are not willing to buy from micro and small-scale weavers.“

B. Kandavel, secretary of the Federation said, “We request the amendment to be extended not only to MSME registered micro and small industries, but to all the players, be it medium or large or corporate or non-registered traders, wholesalers or retailers.“

He further said that buyers have been threatening that they would not buy products from any MSMEs or registered MSMEs and are asking them to cancel their registration so that they can continue business.