The Samaikyandhra agitation, which is turning out to be a combination of rallies, bandh, picketing and power-cut, has hit the business community hard. With every passing day the problems are mounting. A member of the Confederation of Indian Industry Core Team and Better Casting CEO JSRK Prasad said that attendance of the workforce had dropped below 40 per cent and production by about 50 per cent. “Moreover, due to the power-cut, the manufacturing cost has gone up by 30 per cent,” he told The Hindu. On the retail front, sales in many malls have dropped below 30 per cent when compared to last year’s figure. “This month is considered very auspicious for car sales. However, it has been hit by over 50 per cent. On one hand, bandh has reduced the number of business days and on the other the uncertain political climate has become the discouraging factor,” said the Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Director of Kusalava Hyundai Prasad R Chukkapalli.

The community has welcomed the agitation, as businessmen believe that it is for the good reason of keeping the State united, but at the same time they feel that other regions or the people responsible for the present stalemate in Telangana and New Delhi should feel the pinch.

Mr. JSRK Prasad feels that the people of Andhra were totally ignored in the decision-making process. “The stakeholders were not consulted. The biased decision has hurt the sentiments of people,” he said.

Moreover, industry captains feel that the decision was ill-timed and would hit the national economy. According to Mr. Chukkapalli Prasad, the GDP is hovering around 4.4 per cent and the rupee is falling. In such a scenario, creating a new state and allocating huge funds for its development will be a burden on the exchequer.

Mr. JSRK Prasad said if the uncertain climate continued, entrepreneurs, especially budding ones, would think of moving out of the State. “There are quite a few industrialists in Krishna district itself who have either shelved their expansion plans or are planning to move out of the State for safe haven. In the event, states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat will stand to gain,” said Mr. JSRK Prasad.

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