In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the Indian automotive industry suffered Rs 2,300 loss crore per day and an estimated job loss in the sector was about 3.45 lakh, according to a parliamentary panel report submitted to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday. The Parliamentary Standing Committee On Commerce, chaired by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP Keshav Rao, has also suggested a slew of measures for attracting investment in the automotive sector in the country, including overhauling of prevalent land and labour laws.
“The committee was informed by the auto industry associations that all the major original equipment manufacturers (OEM) have cut down their production by 18-20 per cent due to low demand and decline in sales of vehicles. As a result, the employment scenario in the automobile sector has been affected and the an estimated job loss in the auto sector at 3.45 lakh,” the panel said in its report. Hiring of manpower has been stopped in the auto industry sector. Besides that, 286 auto dealers have been closed. Further, production cuts in the automobile sector have a percolating negative impact on the component industry adversely affecting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) engaged in the automobile spare parts manufacturing, the report states.
“As informed by the Automobile Industry Associations, the production stoppage at the automotive OEM and component supplier due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns led to a loss of approximately Rs 2,300 crore per day to the automotive sector,” according to the report. The standing committee further said the actual magnitude of the impact depends on the duration of lockdown period, the intensity and extent of spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. Considering the crisis, it is predicted that the automobile industry is likely to go through at least two consecutive years of severe contraction, leading to low levels of capacity utilisation, lack of future CAPEX investment, high risk of bankruptcy and job losses across the entire automotive value chain, the committee said.