Industrial activity yet to pick up pace - ECAS Punjab

Industrial activity yet to pick up pace

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Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18

Non-availability of labourers and raw material is proving out to be a major challenge for restarting industrial activity in Punjab. Impact of the lockdown imposed in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak is now showing its aftermath.

After relaxations from June 1, as many as 26,028 industrial units are yet to resume operations. There are a total of 2,59,799 units in the state.

Around one-fifth of industrial units are functioning at less than 50 per cent of their capacity. Nearly, 49 per cent units (1,27,408) are working with less than 10 workers, while 28,103 units have a workforce of more than 25 workers.

With lack of raw material and major markets of finished products still under the lockdown, manufacturing would take time to hit pre-Covid levels. Shortage of working capital has put 2,902 units in a financial distress.

"What should we do?" questioned Ludhiana-based industrialist SC Ralhan. "We are neither getting raw material, nor market for finished products in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi is operational. How can we produce goods at the earlier levels?" he said. As many as 5,307 units are not in production due to non-availability of raw material.

The situation is worse in Mandi Gobindgarh, where industrialists claim that their production has reached just 60 per cent. "We were importing scrap through Kandla Port in Gujarat and domestically generated scrap via Delhi. With Covid hitting both the states badly, our supply chain has snapped. Harassment by officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board is making the matters worse for industrialists," said Mahinder Pal Gupta, president, Steel Furnace Association.

C Sibin, Director, Industries, said the state government was doing all within its means to mitigate problems of industrialists.

from The Tribune

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