New Delhi, Sep 2: The loss to the economy is estimated at between Rs 16,000-18,000 crore from the daylong all-India strike called by central trade unions on Friday that affected trade, transport, key manufacturing facilities and banking services, a top industry lobby said.
The effect was most felt in Kerala, Karnataka, Tripura, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh besides other parts of the country. While the strike had a limited impact in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the entire trade chain got hit with the disruption, Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) said in a statement.
Lamenting the fact that India can ill-afford strikes and bandhs as it needs to ramp up its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by boosting manufacturing and other key sectors like services, the chamber said reports of production halts in public and private sector firms along with stoppage of transport services would damage the pace of growth.
Trade, transport and hotels form a major part of the country's GDP. The other major component to the GDP is the financial services, including banking, which has been crippled by the strike, Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat said.
He said the best course for the trade unions should have been to sit across the negotiating table with the government to reach a middle ground.
"The industry is not against fair wages and a decent living standard for the workforce. But the demand for minimum wages should be balanced enough not to lead to a high-cost economy," Rawat said.
The strike, the chamber said, would also leave a crippling impact on the domestic as also export despatches.
"For one, in several facilities, the manufacturing has been affected. Secondly, in the absence of financial and banking transaction, the entire supply chain gets affected. Then, with transport getting hit, the shipment for exports also gets hit," the statement said.