Crores of rupees have been stuck as these textile processors have supplied processed textile all across the country on credit and due to sudden lockdown purchasers are not able to pay them.
Even though the Gujarat government has granted permission to recommence operations, the Ahmedabad-based Rs 25,000 crore textile processing industry will not be able to function as there is no demand (domestic and international) of processed textile in wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
Till March 24, 2020, over 300 textile processing units situated in and around Ahmedabad used to process on an average nearly 1.5 crore metre cloths on daily basis. With announcement of nationwide lockdown, this highly labour intensive industry suddenly ceased.
“It is not easy to resume work. Markets across the globe are almost closed. Even if some demand generates in near future, it would take at least a fortnight to make a textile processing unit to function normally. Migrant labourers have left for their native places and most of the local labourers residing in red zones declared by authorities. Hence, they wouldn’t be able to leave their areas till further orders,” says Nitin Thakker, president of Ahmedabad Textile Processors Association (ATPS) adding that in such situation it would be impossible to run a unit with immediate effect.
Already owners of textile processing units are under severe pressure to pay their instalments of loans, salaries of their employees and contract labours and other fixed expenditures, said Thakker, who is also member of a committee formed by Union ministry of textile for the development of textile sector in the country. According to him, currently people’s priorities are food and medicine, textile and apparels would come later and hence there wouldn’t be any demand in near future.
The highly labour intensive textile processing sector of Ahmedabad provides direct employment to nearly 1 lakh people and indirect employment to more than three lakh people. He further said that it would be extremely difficult to follow social distancing guidelines of government in the case of textile processing units as textile processing requires large number of labourers.
Crores of rupees have been stuck as these textile processors have supplied processed textile all across the country on credit and due to sudden lockdown purchasers are not able to pay them. “We can’t blame on buyers as they haven’t been neither able to do value addition on processed textile or sell it to their buyers. Hence they don’t have money to pay us. Nobody knows when this vicious chain would end,” said an owner of a large textile processing units, whose Rs 75 crore have been stuck due to lockdown requesting anonymity.