In Gujarat, high Covid-19 cases in four cities takes steep toll on state revenue
The official estimate of the loss is yet to come, however, as per experts only these four cities contribute around 40% in the state’s revenue and around 40% of commodities across the country are exported from these four cities.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 23:33 IST
Amid the nationwide lockdown, the economy of Gujarat has been badly affected as about 91% of the Covid-19 cases in the state have come from the four metro cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodra and Rajkot which are major contributors in the state revenue.
Till Wednesday, 4,082 coronavirus cases were reported from the state out of which 3,423 cases have been reported from these four cities which is 90.72% of the total. Ahmedabad has reported 2,777 cases, Surat-601, Vadodra-270 and Rajkot-58.
The official estimate of the loss is yet to come, however, as per experts only these four cities contribute around 40% in the state’s revenue and around 40% of commodities across the country are exported from these four cities.
A top official of the state government on condition of anonymity said that these four cities are a major contributor in the revenue of the Gujarat government. “One thing is for sure that the state’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) is witnessing a sharp decline as around 20,000 industries which falls under these remained shut for the initial 21-days of the lockdown. From April, some factories have been permitted but they are not working at full strength,” the official said.
He added that the average monthly GSDP is around Rs 1.15 lakh crore to 1.25 lakh crore. “The expected decline must be around Rs 80,000 crores due to lockdown,” said a senior official.
Shailesh Patwari, former president of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) said that each of these cities make a major contribution not only in the economy of the state but country as the tax collected from them goes into accounts of both the state as well as the Centre.
Patwari said that Ahmedabad is the pharmaceutical capital of India. There are around 1,000 chemical and pharma industries and 200 engineering companies.
“The turnover of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries is a minimum of Rs 1,200 crore per month. Similarly, the turnover of these engineering units is also around Rs 15,000 crore per month. So with these numbers, one can predict how much Ahmedabad has suffered due to the lockdown,” the former GCCI president said.
Talking about Surat, Patwari said that around 90% of the diamonds are exported in the country from the city.
“There are around 400 diamond units in Surat which have a monthly turnover of Rs 4,500 crore and similarly there around 1,500 small and large textile units which contribute around Rs 1,500 crore per month. After lockdown, work across these industries has been stalled,” added Patwari.
Similarly, the ball bearing companies in Vadodra have a turnover of Rs 100 crore per day and the automobile and irrigational pump producing units Rs 1200 crore per day.
“The positive indicator from these two cities are that most of the industries are located outside the limits of municipal area which have begun operating a few days back with certain permissible limits,” said the former GGCI president.
Purvin Mariyankari, director, Ahmedabad Export-Import Development Association (AEIDA) said that on April 20 the government gave permission to industries located outside municipal limits to resume work, as per the guidelines, and as a result, many industrial units have started operations.
Meanwhile, secretary to the chief minister on Wednesday said that the chief minister has instructed the district collectors to ensure that people do not face the problem of potable water during summer. He instructed the District Collectors to personally look into the matter and asked them to ensure a sufficient supply of water beforehand.
“Further, all the broken hand pumps should be immediately repaired. The CM also gave clear instructions to ensure health and hygiene in the area in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” Kumar said.
Director-General of Police Shivanand Jha said that for the convenience of the farmers in rural areas, technicians involved in fitting or repairing of borewells for farming will be able to travel without passes as long as they carry their driving licences.