As the farmers' protests against the centre's contentious agri-laws continue to intensify, trade, industry bodies and commerce federations have reported a loss of nearly Rs 3,500 crore daily. The ongoing farmers' protests have led to obstruction of traffic and road blockades across checkpoints in Delhi-NCR, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
They have said that the road blockades of highways are resulting in a 50 per cent increase in time and distance for movement of goods that can lead to 8-10 per cent increase in logistics costs. This, in turn, is leading to a spike in prices of daily items and essentials.
The agitation at the Singhu border has affected roughly 1,800 factories in the Greater Kundli Industrial Area which houses hundreds of cold storages and industrial units related to textile, steel and export materials.
Industry body Assocham has requested the centre and farmers' organisations to settle the agitation over the new agri-laws as the disruption caused by the protests is resulting in a huge daily loss.
"The ongoing protests are dealing a severe blow to the interconnected economies of the region, including in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh," the association said.
"The size of the combined economies of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K is about Rs 18 lakh crore. With the ongoing farmers' agitation and blockade of roads, toll plazas and railways, the economic activities have come to a halt. Industries such as textiles, auto components, bicycles, sports goods which cater significantly to the export markets would not be able to fulfil their orders, ahead of Christmas, harming our goodwill amongst the global buyers," Assocham president, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani told India Today.
A daily loss of about Rs 3,000-3500 crore is experienced in the economies of the region due to the ongoing protests, according to the association.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said that the hindrances in supply chain and logistics due to the agitation by farmers in many parts of India will affect the ongoing recovery from the economic downfall due to the pandemic.
The industrial body said that nearly two-thirds of the in-transit consignments are taking 50 per cent additional time to reach the destinations in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi-NCR. Transport vehicles are being forced to travel up to 50 per cent longer to reach the national capital from the warehouses in Haryana, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
"This may push logistics cost by up to 8-10 per cent. Many companies in an industrial belt surrounding Delhi are facing labour shortages as people struggle to reach production facilities from neighbouring towns. It is also affecting the large and small industries alike," Nikhil Sawhney of the CII said.