Pandemic, farmer stirs delay arrival of shipments, leave Ludhiana industrialists on the edge
The president and the general secretary of CICU said that movement of container trains from Ludhiana to ports and back were seriously hampered due to the ongoing agitation by the farmersUpdated: Oct 09, 2020, 01:49 IST
The Covid-19 pandemic, along with farmer agitations and tensions at the Indo-China border, has escalated the troubles of industrialists who are ruing the delay of shipments arriving from ports.
Upkar Singh Ahuja, president, and Pankaj Sharma, general secretary of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU), jointly said that movement of container trains from Ludhiana to ports and back have been seriously hampered due to the ongoing agitation by the farmers over the agri bills.
“It has already been five days and the current situation is brewing into a disaster for exports. Shipments have been delayed and exporters are fearing cancellation of orders. Plus, the sudden increase of ocean freight and other expenses are adding to losses and mental agony of industrialists,” they said.
CICU has now written a request letter to the PMO, ministry of commerce, ministry of MSMEs and ministry of finance requesting their immediate intervention and highlighting the hardships being faced by exporters.
The major commodities contributing to imports into Ludhiana are metal scraps and waste paper for 20 feet and 40 feet containers, respectively.
Orders of metal scraps from Dubai dried up due to ban on export by the supplier country amid the onset of Covid.
The import of waste paper also saw a steep fall due to the same reason. Consequently, exports are either in waiting or are forced to rely on the empty containers from Delhi or Mundra ports at an additional cost of Rs, 20,000 and Rs 30,000 respectively per container.
Sarvjit Singh, co-convener of CICU’s export promotion committee, said that during the Covid lockdown, period shipping lines had withdrawn vessels fearing less cargo, which had resulted in congestion at major transit ports like Salalah, Colombo and Singapore. He added that even the empty containers from Delhi and Mudra ports were not arriving due to ongoing agitation by the farmers.
He said that the industry was facing a huge deficit of containers due to imbalance in import and exports at Ludhiana.