Bharat Bandh: Karnataka incurs loss of Rs 1400 crore

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Bangalore,Feb23: The two day strike called for by the central trade unions has meant a loss of Rs 1400 crore for the State. In a statement by Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCCI) they said that the strike called by the unions has cost a revenue loss which is estimated at over Rs 1000 crore to its member companies.

According to reports BCIC said that the estimation was after an analysis of about 136 member companies , many of them from the manufacturing sector. "The actual loss would have been much higher if the entire membership were taken," said the head of BCIC adding that they feel that the two-day strike was unjustifiable at a time of recession and India in general and Karnataka in particular could ill-afford this situation.

M Lakshminarayan, President, BCIC said: "At a time when the domestic manufacturing sector is tittering with low off-take of products and increasing inventories at their ends, the two-day strike called by the trade unions has further crushed this critical segment of the economy. Though strike as we understand is a legally valid instrument of protest in the hands of the working class, considering the current state of Indian economy's growth rate the trade unions should have opted for the ‘sitting across the table negotiation' format than halting work which is not applicable or appropriate in the highly liberalised and enormously competitive market."

H V Harish, Senior Vice President BCIC said "The national economy, battling slowdown, can ill-afford this situation. In fact, the strike will result in additional inflationary pressure due to abrupt disruption in the supply of commodities and services." He further added: "The strike has not only impacted the Manufacturing sector but also service sectors like banking, insurance and transport. These companies and their employees now will have to work harder to recover this loss which is a burden to all. The share of manufacturing in Karnataka GDP is now only 25 percent as per the latest State Economic Survey 2012-13 and if these instances continue we will see this further decline and that will impact job creation, which should be a key goal for all people concerned with the welfare of the State."

Prior to the strike the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) had estimated a loss of Rs 25,000-Rs 26,000 crore in the national GDP. "In the wake of more than expected disruption, we estimate the loss to the GDP in today and tomorrow's Bandh to be in the region of Rs.25,000-Rs.26,000 crore -- near 50 percent of the economic activity," Assocham had said in a statement.

One of the main demands of the unions which had called for the strike was to curtail inflation.

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