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Apparel retailers to stay shut on Monday against excise duty

Big brands like Pantaloons, Shoppers Stop, Westside, Lifestyle, Madura Garments and Arvind Brands, will remain close on Monday in protest against the imposition of 10 percent excise duty on branded apparels.



New Delhi: Nearly 10,000 retail stores across
India, including those of big brands like Pantaloons, Shoppers
Stop, Westside, Lifestyle, Madura Garments and Arvind Brands,
will remain close on Monday in protest against the imposition
of 10 per cent excise duty on branded apparels.

"All the big retailers along with about 4,000 small
retailers have decided to keep their stores closed on Monday
to protest against the 10 per cent excise duty announced in
Budget," Retailers Association of India CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said to a news agency.

He said there about 50,000 apparel brands in India,which
will be impacted by the announcement made by Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee in the Budget for 2011-12.

Out of a total of estimated Rs 1,00,000 crore apparel
business in India annually, Rs 60,000 crore comes from the
branded apparels, Rajagopalan added.

"Nearly 10,000 retail stores across India will close
shutters on Monday. We hope that the this move (shutting
stores) will make the government to reconsider this decision,"
he added.

The Retailers Association of India (RAI) has members,
including Pantaloons, Shoppers Stop, Reliance Retail, Trent
Retail (Westside) and Aditya Birla Retail which also has a
host of brands.

According to Future Group Director and CEO (Retail)
Rakesh Biyani, the excise duty has come as a big jolt not only
to the companies but also for consumers.

"The excise duty has been made mandatory from voluntary
by the government, which is harming consumers, apparel makers
and retailers. Keeping the stores closed even for a day means
loss of revenues for firms. We will collectively talk to the
government," Aditya Birla Retail CEO Thomas Varghese said.

Echoing similar concerns, Reliance Retail`s Apparel
Business CEO Arun Sirdeshmukh said, "Heavy excise has already
been imposed, now we can only request the government to lift
it as it will affect everyone."

Meanwhile, the Clothing Manufacturers Association Of
India (CMAI) has called for a one day `Bandh` today at about
50,000 garment manufacturing units across the main clusters in
India.

"The domestic garment production in India is estimated to
be about Rs 100,000 crore annually, so even if production
across 50,000 units is shut for a day, losses will be huge,"
CMAI Executive Director Mohan Sadhwani said.

He said the CMAI representatives will be in Delhi from
next week onwards to make presentations to the Finance
Ministry and Textile Ministry officials asking for a roll back
of the 10 per cent excise duty.

PTI

From Zee News

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