Expressing concern over the two-day Bharat bandh organised by 11 trade unions, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president Adi Godrej said “the strike has significantly disrupted economic and industrial activity in many parts of the country” but “it is not clear how the bandh will address the issues that it seeks to resolve”.

Coming at a time when the economy is under the grip of a major slowdown, the current disturbance is likely to aggravate matters, he said. While the exact loss to trade and business activity is difficult to ascertain, the direct and indirect impact would be upward of Rs.20,000 crore over two days.

“But more importantly, the disruptions cause enormous hardship to the common man and industry alike. Worst affected are the daily wage earners, the small traders and small businesses,” he said.

Mr Godrej added that business confidence in the country is another major casualty.  

“The bandh call made by the unions of the banking and insurance sectors, which form the nerve centres of the economy, is causing hardship to industry as the suspension of work in the banks could impact cheque clearances and other banking transactions, crucial for the conduct of business operations,” Mr Godrej said.

 “CII has been expressing concerns about the high and rising inflation, which has of late shown signs of moderation, and has provided room for RBI to cut interest rates. At such a time, when conditions are becoming conducive for reviving the investment cycle, both the workers and industry should make a concerted effort to work with the government to revive the economy rather than create disruptions,” he said.