The hosiery and textile sector in the city has been impacted by the lockdown-like restrictions in New Delhi, amid rising cases of Omicron, with industrialists reporting up to a 50 percent drop in sales.
The industrial representatives said the sector was slowly beginning to recover from the damage suffered due to the pandemic in the last two years, but the recent restrictions in the national capital, including a cap on gatherings in weddings, night curfew, odd-even scheme to open shops, had again created a sense of fear in the minds of traders, which has led to a nosedive in the demand of hosiery and textile.
Knitwear and Apparels Manufacturers Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL) President Sudarshan Jain said, “If the weddings will not take place, the sales of garments/textile will ultimately go down. We have already seen about a 50 percent drop in sales. Once restrictions are imposed by the government, the public also stops spending on garments etc and starts to save money for emergencies.”
“We are not against the restrictions as the health of the public should be in priority, but the government should not immediately act strict at once as it inculcates fear in the minds of the public, which is not good for business and economy. The restrictions can be imposed in phases after looking at the number of cases,” he added.
Industrialists said a large proportion of manufactured products are sold in wholesale markets in New Delhi, adding that the low demand, non-payment of dues, suspected sales return have all become major concerns. Low sales this year due to relatively high temperatures being witnessed during the winter season and pandemic-related restrictions have added to the woes, the representatives added.
Ludhiana Woollen Manufacturers Association and Knitwear Club President Darshan Dawar said, “Around 30-35 percent of the business has already been impacted as different restrictions have been imposed in Delhi. Fear has grown in the minds of traders due to which they are not stocking the products. Already 25 percent of the products manufactured by industry have not been sold due to low demand in the market, as comparatively high temperatures are being witnessed. The sector is going through a tough time.”
With lockdown-like restrictions being imposed in other states including Haryana and West Bengal as well, the industrialists said the condition will further deteriorate and owners of many units will be forced to shut down operations.
Knitwear and Apparel Exporters Association President Harish Dua said, “It is a very critical situation for the sector and the situation might further deteriorate as the payments might get stuck and the manufacturers also suspect sales return. The government should consider the economic impact of imposing the restrictions as many of the units are already on the verge of collapse. The market is already moving through a slump and this has added to the misery.”