Andhra Pradesh

14 factories close down operations in Vizinagaram district

AITUC leaders staging a protest in Nellimarla of Vizianagaram district seeking reopening of jute mill factory.
The Hindu BureauJanuary 29, 2022 07:19 IST
Updated: January 29, 2022 07:19 IST

Opposition parties seek government’s support for their revival

Fourteen major industries have stopped production in Vizianagaram district, leading to denial of employment to nearly 50,000 people.

Twelve jute factories and two sugar factories were closed in the last couple of years owing to various reasons, such as steep hike in raw material cost and drop in demand for produce. With the strong competition from Bangladesh jute products, the jute companies in Vizianagaram stopped production. Some of them will not be revived in future too with the sale and conversion of properties for other purposes.

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Bhimasingi Sugar factory, which stopped production for ‘renovation’, had informed the government that there was no chance of taking up crushing of sugarcane in the near future. NCS Sugars which has its factory in Latchayyapeta near Bobbili also stopped crushing owing to lack of remunerative price for sugar in the market.

“The government should announce a support price of at least at least ₹3,500 a quintal as against existing price of ₹3,100, so that the company will be able to meet the production cost. It should also provide incentives for farmers for growing sugarcane. This step will ensure assured sugarcane during crushing season. Earlier, we used to crush nearly 15 lakh tonnes of sugarcane, but it came down to 1.3 lakh tonnes last year. In the current year, crushing was halted with the lack of sufficient sugarcane for crushing,” said Narayanam Nageswara Rao, Managing Director of NCS Sugars.

Former TDP MLC Dwarapureddy Jagadish said a comprehensive policy was needed to instill confidence among the industrialists to reopen the factories. “Many rice mills also closed down in the last few years due to various reasons. Proper support for agro-based industries will create economic activity in rural areas and provide livelihood to many people directly and indirectly,” he added.

Lok Satta Party State president Bhisetti Babji, who staged many protests for revival of Bhimasingi Sugar factory, urged the government to take steps for revival of all agro-based factories to provide livelihood to farmers, villagers and others.

“Many small-scale industries in Bobbili growth centre, industrial estates of Kothavalasa, Nellimarla and other areas are also facing many problems. They are unable to get bank loans also. All these factors are leading to migration of labourers from the district. The government should look into these issues to ensure livelihood for people of the backward district,” said Mr. Babji.

AITUC Vizianagaram district general secretary Bugata Ashok urged the government to hold a meeting with stakeholders for the revival of factories in the district. He alleged that many jute industries failed to clear Provident Fund and other dues to the workers in spite of many meetings organised by Labour Department officials.

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