The number of knitwear units operating in Ludhiana has decreased over the past 10 years. There were 13,000 units five years ago. “This industry is declining rapidly due to the anti-people policies of the state government. Inflation and taxes are the major reason for the decline of this industry in Punjab – people’s purchasing power has declined,” said Ashok Kumar Jain, chairman Bahadur ke textile and knitwear association in Ludhiana.
“The other reason for the decline of the industry are that the government continues charging a 12 percent excise duty, paid by manufacturers and traders, even after the prices of key raw material cotton, doubled over the last six months,” said Jain.
“Punjab’s electricity tariffs are very high as compared to tariffs in the other states, but we are not assured of reliable power supply. It hampers the growth of the industry. We are working very hard to sustain in this industry but are not given any facilities from the government, while the industry in Karnataka is growing at a faster rate,” said Sanjeev Singh, another knitwear manufacturer.
“There is a shortage of skilled labour, and the government should open training centers to train labour to promote the industry. Many knitwear industrialists are switching over to some other business owing to the rapid decline of the industry,” said Singh.