On World Bicycle day, Atlas Cycles (Haryana) Ltd closed its Sahibabad unit in Uttar Pradesh citing financial crunch. The company, in a statement released on Wednesday, said it will be furloughing staff as it is unable to meet even day-to-day expenses. It is learnt that around 450 employees at the unit could be affected.
The effects of its closure were also felt in Ludhiana where several units are used to supply bicycle parts to Atlas. Charanjeet Singh Vishvkarma, former President of United cycles parts and manufacturers association (UCPMA), said,” The company owes around Rs. 125 crore to vendors. My company has Rs. 20 lakh outstanding against Atlas. Even last year as well vendors had staged protests regarding pending payments. Only then the payments were released.”
Manjinder Singh Sachdeva, another member of UCPMA, said that GST rate needs to be uniform for sale and purchase of bicycle parts and the assembled bicycle.
“Wrong policies are bringing units in losses,” he said.
Atlas began with the manufacture of bicycle saddles in 1951. It produced its first bicycle the subsequent year. And in 1965, Atlas had emerged as India’s largest cycle manufacturer. About two years ago, it had closed its Sonepat unit.
Achhru Ram Gupta, senior vice president of wholesale bicycle dealers association, said the latest closure is not a good sign. “Atlas was India’s first bicycle unit and its closure is not a good sign on the bicycle industry. This seems to be after effects of covid pandemic , some package needs to be announced for bicycle industry on the whole.”
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