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Meerut’s scissors industry shutting down

Over 25,000 workers may lose job as raw material supply, orders dry up

November 27, 2016 12:30 am | Updated 12:30 am IST - Meerut

: Eighteen days after the Centre banned the used of old Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, the scissors industry of Meerut — famous for its quality product known as Meerut scissors — is about to completely shut down due to cash crunch.

The small-scale industry has an annual turnover of Rs.12 crore and employs over 25,000 people.

Manufacturing units in the 300-year-old ‘ kainchi bazaar ’ (scissors market) of Meerut, have started shutting down in the past two days.

The big players have suffered cancellation of over 85 per cent of their orders due to unavailability of raw material and absence of money to pay the labourers.

‘Production down 60%’

Mohammad Shavez, who runs a scissor manufacturing unit in the market, told The Hindu : “Cash is the backbone of this industry. It is a small-scale industry where at every stage, be it raw material or labourer charge or transportation, one requires cash. Right now there is just not enough cash to run the unit.”

Mr. Shavez said that due to demonetisation, the industry’s production capacity had dropped by 60 per cent.

“At present, almost all of the small players in the industry have shut their shops. Only big ones are able to survive, but they will also last only five or six days as the raw material they had collected is about to get used up,” Mr. Shavez said, who may have to close his own unit in the next few days.

‘No thought given to common man’

“I do not think that the Modi government properly thought out the demonetisation decision. If they did then, certainly, the poor common man was not part of their planning,” said Mr. Shavez, whose manufacturing unit churns out 100 scissors a day. He has four workers depending on him for employment.

Zaheer Ahmad of Saifi Scissor Manufacturing Welfare Association said that the major players were registered manufacturers who were allowed to withdraw Rs.50,000 a week, but the banks had run out of cash.

“They are unable to withdraw even Rs.20,000 a week. The situation will get worse soon. This industry employs both men and women and thousands of houses survive on this work,” Mr. Ahmad said, adding that the cash crunch had disturbed the basic chain of the labour-intensive industry.

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