VELLORE, VIRUDHUNAGAR, THOOTHUKUDI: Hundreds of safety match production units downed their shutters across the State protesting the implementation of GST on Saturday. The GST, according to semi-mechanised safety match industry owners, has come as a bane instead of a boon.
The industrialists had voiced their concerns a few days ago and threatened to stop operations, if their tax-slab was not reduced to 12 per cent from the proposed 18 per cent under the GST.
“Since the cost of production is higher in semi-mechanised industries than it is in the fully automated ones, due to the labour component, we had demanded for a lowering of the tax slab,” VS Sethurathinam, Secretary, National Small Match Manufacturers Association said.
“The Centre’s silence on our rightful demand is discriminating. If it continues, the industry will perish. The protest will continue until the our demands are considered.” Around 20,000 workers attached to the safety match production units in Gudiyatham, Vellore, joined the strike on Saturday.
Safety Match Producers Association district president V G Dhanapal said 150-plus units in the town have downed their shutters in support of the strike call given by the All India Federation of Safety Match Industries based in Virudhunagar.
In Virudhunagar district, as many as 400 semi-mechanised matches units remained closed on Saturday seeking to reduce the GST.
Tamil Nadu supplies 85 per cent of the country’s safety matchbox needs.