Farmers’ protests in Delhi are showing an adverse impact on over 1,800 factories located in the Greater Kundli Industrial Area. There are several cold storage and industrial units that deal in steel, textile and export materials. However, due to the ongoing agitation, the movement of goods has come to a halt. The police barricades installed to stop the farmers have caused additional trouble, as per an India Today report.
India Today quoted a few business owners who have factories and storage units in the affected area. Ritesh Bajaj, president of Kundli Industrial Association and a dry fruit business owner, said that his products are rotting in cold storage. “We import walnuts, almonds, figs and dry grapes, but they have a shelf life.”
Manoj, a steel business owner, said that his orders are piling up. Trucks loaded with the goods are at a standstill due to the roadblocks. The agitation of the farmers has affected his business and reputation adversely among clients.
Workers asked to come on alternate days
It is not just the business owners who are getting affected by the agitation. The workers in these units are facing the heat too, cited the India Today report. Several businesses have asked their workers to come on alternate days as the business is slow. Satnam Singh, a textile business owner, said that it would impact over 25,000 workers in the industrial corridors if the situation continues. “If the business stops, it will be difficult to pay their salaries. Goods are rotting in godowns,” he said.
CII warns farmers’ protests will impact economic recovery
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said that the farmers’ protests are going to affect overall economic recovery in the country. The industry body said, “Given the challenge to get the economy back on the growth trajectory, Confederation of Indian Industry urges all the stakeholders to urgently seek ways to end the ongoing protests and reach an amicable solution, in the interest of industry and economy.”
The already-broken supply chain facing the heat
The CII said that the already-broken supply-chain that has been trying to recover after the pandemic-induced lockdown is under stress because of the agitations. Around 2/3 of the consignments are taking over 50 percent extra time to reach the destinations in adversely affected areas, including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi-NCR.
CII further said that the effect of the agitation would show a more acute impact in hilly regions, including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, as the transportation of goods in these regions depend on road connectivity.
Economic Times quoted Nikhil Sawhney, Chairman, CII Northern Region as saying, “The ongoing farm agitation requires an immediate amicable solution as it is impacting not only the economic growth but also putting a huge dent to the supply chain which is affecting the large and small industries alike.”
Increase in the logistics cost
As per the Economic Times report, the CII has also asserted that due to additional time and effort in keeping the supply-chain up, the cost of logistics may go up by 8 to 10 percent. The farm products to major markets in Delhi-NCR areas may soon experience a spike in the prices. The interlinked issues arising from the farmers’ protests have started to cause a ripple effect resulting in a low supply of perishable and non-perishable products in the market.
India Today quoted a banana trader named Pulkit who operates from Azad Mandi, saying that his trucks are stuck in four different locations. “Since bananas get spoiled easily. I had to sell them off at dirt cheap prices wherever the trucks are stuck,” he added.
The farmers’ protests
For the last 20 days, farmers are lodged in the national capital region protesting against the recently passed Agriculture laws. Though the government has tried to alleviate the situation and asked unions to discuss possible amendments in the laws, the unions are stuck on their demand that the government must take back all three laws. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar recently said that the government is engaging with the farmers to fix the next discussion date.