Chandigarh, Nov 17 (IANS) The industrial body CII on Tuesday called upon the governments and farmer groups to find a solution to the current impasse in Punjab over the Central farm laws.
Expressing concern over the state’s economy and industry in the wake of ongoing economic and rail blockade because of agitation by farmer organisations, the CII appealed to both the Centre and the state and also the farmers to come together and find an amicable solution to end this crisis.
The industry in the state, already reeling under Covid-19 disruption, has estimated losses in thousands of crores as the train services remained suspended for nearly 50 days.
Quoting Punjab Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora, the CII said a loss of Rs 22,000 crore has been reported for industries in Ludhiana and Jalandhar alone.
Even more than 13,500 containers are lying at the dry port in Dhandari near Ludhiana and they could not be sent to other parts of the country.
According to the state agriculture department, 60,000 gunny bags are stuck in Delhi and Rajpura, impacting the lifting of the paddy crop from grain markets.
The industry is suffering major losses as around 13,000 commercial containers are struck between Ranchi and Punjab.
CII Punjab State Council Chairman Rahul Ahuja said, “We understand that farmers may have some reservations on the farm laws. However, this agitation is now causing economic losses not only to large businesses but even impacting the local industry, the labour, logistic providers and small grocery stores that are unable to get the supply.”
He said the more this blockade continued, the more harm it would bring to the overall image of Punjab as an investment and business destination.
Bhavdeep Sardana, Vice Chairman of the CII Punjab, said the supply of raw material and semi-finished goods to the factories or export-bound shipments carrying basmati, yarn and textiles, hand tools, sports and leather goods stuck at various inland container depots.
The current crisis has adversely impacted the working capital and liquidity in the market as the exporters usually receive their payment from customers only after they send them the bill of lading copy, which is possible only once the container is loaded in a vessel, he said.
The day-long talks between the Union government and the farmers ended inconclusively in Delhi on November 13.
Now the farmer unions are holding their internal discussions in Chandigarh on November 18, ahead of another meeting with the Central government on November 21.