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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Second wave of Covid-19: Punjab Inc grapples with slowdown sentiment

Ludhiana's garment industry seems to be affected a lot as clothes once again are not the priority for people.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
April 25, 2021 10:30:47 am
Migrants waits to board a train at the Ludhiana railway station amid the second wave of Covid-19 infections. (Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh)

Although factories are open despite Covid curbs, a general sentiment of an oncoming slowdown is spreading in the Punjab market.

Upkar Singh, president of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), said, “General sentiment in the market is of slowdown as many states are just focusing on health management. People have no time to buy anything, be it agricultural equipment, garments, auto parts, cycles or anything else. No doubt we are operating our units, but we have to manufacture as per the demand coming from the market. When shops are shut in many states, where are we going to sell our products? ”

Ludhiana’s garment industry seems to be affected a lot as clothes once again are not the priority for people.

“When people are struggling to get oxygen beds, will they be serious about buying garments? Our major fashion industry is in Maharashtra, and southern states. As of now, Maharashtra is dealing with Covid, so our garment supplies are not going to Mumbai, Pune, Delhi etc. where demand is the highest. Factories are open, but impact is there,” said Bobby Jindal, general secretary of Punjab Dyers Association.

Auto parts vendors, however, maintained that temporary shutdown of Hero Motocorp’s manufacturing units for four days in a staggered manner will not affect much as it is a temporary phase.

Ranjodh Singh, MD of GS Radiators and a part of the Punjab Automobile Association, said, “Demand has definitely been reduced from most affected states and as of now Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Delhi are observing lockdown. Many other states have strict Covid curbs. So, naturally health care is the most important as of now.”

Sources revealed that on a daily basis around 400-500 trucks of raw materials used to go from Punjab to different units of Hero Motocorp which are likely to be affected due to temporary shutdown of manufacturing units of the company due to rising Covid cases. Manjinder Singh Sachdeva, general secretary of United Cycles Parts and Manufacturers Association and one of the vendor of Hero Motocorp, said, “This is a temporary phase, export operations are going on and moreover such big brands do protect their vendors. We feel that this shall too pass. In a pandemic, hurdles do come.”

Packaging and printing industry has also been impacted, stated Kamal Chopra, president of All India Federation of Masters Printers (AIFMP).

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