SRINAGAR: Governor N N Vohra Wednesday approached New Delhi to seek hike in the custom duty on raw silk imports to 30 per cent.
An official handout issued here from Raj Bhawan said Vohra spoke to New Delhi’s Minister of State (MoS) for Textiles, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, to seek his support for having the custom duty increased to 30 per cent from the existing 15 per cent.
Governor has requested the MoS to take up “this extremely important matter” with New Delhi’s Minister of Finance, it added.
The demand has been made with an aim to help the families that are engaged in production of raw silk in the state.
According to the handout, about 30,000 families, based mostly in “rural and difficult areas” of the state, are engaged in the production of raw silk, “which is estimated at about 1000 metres.”
Decrease in the custom duty on imported raw silk from 30 per cent to 5 per cent in 2011-12, had an “immediate adverse impact” on the production of raw silk in Jammu and Kashmir, it said.
Subsequently, it added, the government of India last year revised the custom duty from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on “recognizing the serious adverse consequences” of the earlier move.
New Delhi has invested over Rs 113 crore for the development of silk industry in J&K under the Catalytic Development Programme, according to the statement.
“If the raw silk industry cannot be revived, it would result in the non-utilization of the extensive infrastructure for silk production established in J&K during the past years,” it added.