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'Farmers' Protest Causing Daily Loss of Rs 3,000-3500 Crore to Economies of Punjab, Haryana and HP'

Farmers at Singhu border during their sit-in protest against the Centre's farm reform laws, in New Delhi, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.(PTI Photo)

Farmers at Singhu border during their sit-in protest against the Centre's farm reform laws, in New Delhi, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.(PTI Photo)

Around two-thirds of consignments in transit are taking 50 per cent extra time to reach their destinations in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi-NCR, ASSOCHAM said.

Industry body ASSOCHAM on Tuesday said the ongoing protests against the farm reform laws are dealing a big blow to the interconnected economies of the region, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

A daily loss of Rs 3,000-3500 crore is resulting in the economies of the region from the value chain and transport disruption because of the protests, according to ASSOCHAM’s rough estimates.

"The already broken supply-chain which was recovering post the pandemic-induced lockdown has come under severe stress," CII mentioned in a separate statement.

According to the chamber, around two-thirds of consignments in transit are taking 50 per cent extra time to reach their destinations in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi-NCR. In addition, transport vehicles are forced to travel up to 50 per cent longer to reach Delhi from the warehouses in Haryana, Uttarakhand and Punjab.

"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, Niranjan Hiranandani said.

CII said the agitation may push logistics cost by up to 8-10 per cent. Many companies in the industrial belt surrounding Delhi are facing labour shortages as people struggle to reach production facilities from neighbouring towns, the industry chamber said.

"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," said Nikhil Sawhney, chairman, CII Northern Region.

The chamber observed that the effect of the agitation is more acute for industries in hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir which are dependent on goods transported by road. Farmer leaders on Monday went on a day-long hunger strike and their colleagues demonstrated in different parts of the country to push for a rollback of the new farm laws.