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Posted at: Jun 9, 2019, 7:22 AM; last updated: Jun 9, 2019, 7:22 AM (IST)

Handlooms face the heat

Mukesh Tandon in Panipat

No industrial unit here faced a shutdown following demonetisation but it had to struggle hard for survival. The local handloom industry, especially carpet and blanket units, was affected as the cash flow collapsed. Industrialists as well as job seekers also blamed demonetisation for increasing unemployment and slowed industrial growth. According to Manish Aggarwal, general secretary of the Haryana Chamber of Commerce, Panipat chapter, the handloom industry is dependent on direct cash flow system, which was badly affected after demonetisation. The industry has been facing around 25 per cent downfall since demonetisation two years back, he added.

Around 5,000 industries are operating here. More than 70 per cent of the labour force is from Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. These workers  work on a weekly basis cash payment system, he added. 

Pritam Singh Sachdeva, former chairman of the Haryana Chamber of Commerce, Panipat chapter, said during demonetisation, the local blanket and carpet industry was affected badly. It was very tough for them to survive during the first year. But the condition is better now compared to the past two years, he said.

Another big shock that the Panipat handloom industry faced following demonetisation was that migrant labourers had moved back to their states. “Even till now, we are facing the labour crunch,” said Sachdeva. After demonetisation and the GST, industrialists wanted to pay their labourers through cheques or electronically but the labourers were not ready to accept it, he said. 

Jatin Khurana, a local engineering graduate, said getting a good job is a challenge for freshers. Multinational and big companies select engineers directly through campus placements from the NIT and other national institutes. Engineering graduates from private colleges often do not get a chance for campus placement, he said. They try to get jobs in small-scale industries to start their careers but often fail to get good exposure there, he added.

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