TEXTILE INDUSTRY
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PRE-BUDGET MEMORANDUM, dated December 11, 1999 As a result of WTO and ATC, the quotas will be phased out by the end of 2004 and all textile products will be fully integrated for USA and EU markets. India is also reciprocating and has opened up Indian markets for imports and they are likely to be further liberalised. The textile industry suffers due to imbalances and uncertainties of the tax structure, notably the Excise Duties. Important sectors like weaving and processing have suffered heavily in attracting new investments, while knitting and garment industries have suffered, being reserved for small scale. Thus, the Indian textile industry is left with no option but to develop a rational tax structure to improve competitiveness, attract new investments, and develop the domestic market by providing impetus for domestic consumption.
We enclose a proposal covering the following:

- Rationalisation of Excise Duty on Processed Fabrics
- Import Duty on Cotton and Cotton Waste, recommending free export of cotton under OGL

COPIES OF THESE REPRESENTATIONS CAN BE MADE AVAILABLE BY ATMA, ON REQUEST
 

Industrial Relations


The mills of Ahmedabad have enjoyed better industrial relations than other Indian textile centres, notably Bombay. Major strikes were unknown until 1895.Gandhiji deserves much of the credit for good industrial relations in Ahmedabad. In the words of Jaykrishna Harivallabhdas, former president of ATMA, on the occasion of the Ahmedabad Textile Centenary in 1961: “His principles of conciliation and compromise on industrial matters have been guiding both employers and employees in this centre… We have accepted that labour and management are not economic competitors… nor are they social rivals; nor can they afford to be ideological enemies. The fact is that they are teammates - partners in production-working together on the same job that is vital to each.”

Some milestones: 

1895
- an unsuccessful and violent strike of 8,000 mill workers for 8 days, in protest against AMOA’s decision that wages be paid fortnightly instead of weekly.
1917 - a strike of warpers in the Ahmedabad mills, after warpers from Bombay and elsewhere were engaged through AMOA. (A’bad warpers had been pressing for higher wartime wages.) Anasuyaben Sarabhai organised workers; settlement reached within a fortnight. Foundation laid for modern trade union movement of A’bad.
1918 - Ahmedabad mill owners decided to replace ‘bonus’ by a 20% wage increase. Weavers asked for 50% increase. Gandhiji was asked to intervene; an arbitration board was set up. A hasty strike by a few workers caused a lock-out by the mill owners. 10,000 weavers were out for 4 weeks. Gandhiji and Anasuyaben urged them to press for 35% increase. Gandhiji went on a fast; mill owners agree to 35% wage increase.
1920 - Formation of Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association (Majoor Mahajan)
Post-70s Slide in Labour Movement (Bombay Industrial Relations Act) - The Act has made industrial restructuring very difficult. Several permissions are required before workers can be laid off or old equipment can be replaced by new. This has hampered the modernisation of the industry, which makes it difficult to operate in the present competitive milieu.

ATMA SAFETY AWARDS

Since 1982, ATMA and the Chief Inspector of Factories have been jointly awarding an annual “ATMA Safety Award”. The award, sponsored by The Arvind Mills Ltd. and M.H. Mills & Industry, was instituted with the objective of encouraging textile companies to minimise accidents in the factory premises. Each year, a shield is presented to the mill recording the least number of disabling injuries.

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