COVID-19 impact: Bengaluru industries miffed with another lockdown  

The SME sector has appealed to the state government to allow at least one shift to function in the larger interest

lockdown in Bengaluru (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
lockdown in Bengaluru (Photo courtesy: Twitter)


Trade and industry bodies in Karnataka are miffed at the unilateral lockdown government has imposed from July 14 to 22 without taking them into confidence, said an official on Tuesday.

"Enforcement of lockdown of industries is likely to paralyse the state economy and severely impact industrial production and hamper attempts to restore normalcy," said Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) president C. R. Janardhan.

He said the industrial sector contributes 26 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which now will be affected by the lockdown as industries will be closed, impacting production, state GST collections and hitting jobs.

According to Janardhan, Bengaluru alone contributes 70 per cent of the GSDP which is put under complete lockdown with minimal exceptions from Tuesday 8 p.m. to July 22.

"Many industries in Bengaluru especially in the manufacturing sector have slowly started operating second shift in the last few days to fulfill orders. At this stage, another lockdown will destroy the morale of the management and workers," he said.

Comparing Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra, Janardhan said Covid is more rampant in those states than here and no lockdown was imposed in those states.

"In Pune, Chennai and Delhi social lockdown was imposed but industries were permitted to operate by adhering to norms prescribed as per the ministry of home affairs guidelines," he said.

Similarly, MSME, Kassia, hotel and Peenya Industry association members have also expressed their unhappiness over the lockdown.

An official from the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) said the sector has barely recovered from the lockdown and another lockdown will put it in great disadvantage.

"While it is certainly necessary for the government to take hard and effective measures to tackle the worsening pandemic in the city, what worries us is the inevitable consequences of all this on the wholly beleaguered small industry sector which may end up completely shattered as a result," he said.

According to the official, nearly 20 per cent of all the small and medium enterprise have shutdown operations in the state due to the earlier lockdown.

"Bangalore has nearly 2.4 lakh registered units with an employment of 25 lakh and investment in the range of Rs 40,000 crores. This is excluding the unorganized sector which is close to the organised numbers. The economic and social impact will, therefore, be disastrous," said the official.

The SME sector has appealed to the state government to allow at least one shift to function in the larger interest.

Alarmed by the surging Covid-19 cases daily since July 1, the Karnataka government has decided to reimpose a total lockdown in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts from July 14 till July 22.

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