Bhubaneswar: Odia workers engaged in the textile sector in Gujarat met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here Monday to thank him for saving the power loom units in that state by getting the accumulated ITC (Input Tax Credit) released from the Centre.
Bansidhara Lenka, president of Odisha Bikash Manch, which represents the seven lakh Odias in Gujarat, said they had come to invite the Chief Minister to visit Surat.
“After implementation of GST two years back 1.5 lakh textile units were shut hitting hard the Odia workers there,” he said.
“Odisha minister Sashi Bhushan Behera and Rajya Sabha member Prasanta Nanda had come to Surat and examined the situation of each and every textile unit in person. Following this, an 11-member team was set up to investigate the matter. We were deeply touched by the Chief Minister’s gesture and hence we came in person to invite him”, he added.
The Managing Director of one of the textile companies in Gujarat, Lakshmi Prasad Nayak, said, “After implementation of GST industries were badly hit. People were getting demoralised and that is when things got set right. That is when we felt that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is working for Odias across the country. That is why we held a meeting there and are here to invite the CM so that people there can see and hear Naveen Patnaik.”
After implementation of GST, the Gujarat power loom sector had been on the verge of closure and the Gujarat Weavers’ Association had written to the Chief Minister to help them out.
The Chief Minister issued directions for the sake of Odia workers dependent on the power loom sector. He had directed Odisha Finance Minister to talk to Odia workers in Gujarat. Along with this he had also directed Prashanta Nanda to do the needful.
After the Odisha Finance Minister put forward the proposal, the Centre released the accumulated ITC to Gujarat power looms. Today Weavers’ Association members came to meet and thank Patnaik.