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Morbi's ceramic hub stares at shutdown

201326Nov
Morbi's ceramic hub stares at shutdown

RAJKOT: Days after Gujarat high court ordered closure of coal-fired gasifiers following a public interest litigation concerning pollution, the unit-owners are up in arms against Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) over erratic gas supply and a price hike.

As many as 600 ceramic units in Morbi are planning to go on an indefinite strike from November 27 to protest against the various pending issues with the state government, including the recent price hike of gas by GPSC. On Monday, industry workers, owners, transporters and suppliers took out a large rally and handed over a memorandum to the district collector. President of Ceramic Wall Tiles Association, Morbi, Divyesh Patel said the units have now decided to close the entire ceramic production from next week for an indefinite period. This will affect the livelihood of nearly 4 lakh persons - the industry employs around 1 lakh workers directly and supports another 3 lakh indirectly.

Many units had started to switch to expensive natural gas -almost four times more the cost of coal gas - after the HC ruling last month. Many of them have also started modifying their coal gasifiers according to guidelines issued by Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in the hope that the more economical process may be legalized. The GPCB norms are said to be even mopre stringent that the guidelines of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

"At a time when we are battling competition from China, GSPC has increased prices substantially by around Rs 4.75. Moreover, GSPC has made it compulsory to pay for 80 per cent of average usage of gas even if we do not use it. This is absolutely ridiculous,'' Patel said. Not just China, Morbi's units were also losing out to competition from units in north Gujarat, where gas is supplied by ONGC at rock-bottom prices. "The new norm will break the backbone of the ceramic industry, which has earned its reputation in the country,'' owner of a ceramic unit in Morbi Raju Patel said.

"We are also demanding lowering the duty and sales from 12.3 per cent to five per cent in excise and 15 per cent to five per cent in sales tax,'' Patel added. Government earns around Rs 125 crore in revenue from the ceramic industry every year.
 


Source : Times Of India

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    • Nuteshrathva09/10/2018ક.ઘ.છ.ક્ષ પરથી છોકરા ના નામ
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