Industries anxious over missed export deadlines owing to lockdown

Exports from manufacturing alone come to about $250 m every month

May 20, 2021 11:50 pm | Updated 11:50 pm IST - Bengaluru

A garment factory that has been closed in Bengaluru. A number of factories have been closed following the lockdown order of May 7. special arrangement

A garment factory that has been closed in Bengaluru. A number of factories have been closed following the lockdown order of May 7. special arrangement

About 10 days into the lockdown, several industries relying on exports for their businesses are facing the heat over missed deadlines in export commitments.

As a number of industries have not been exempted under essential services to operate, they have remained closed following the lockdown order of May 7. This comes even as workers in several industries that are functioning under exempted category are reporting to work amid heightened anxiety over contracting the virus.

This is true across industrial areas in Doddaballapura, Bommasandra, Peenya, and Bidadi in Bengaluru, besides industries in Mangaluru, Hubballi, and Mysuru districts.

According to an estimate by the Karnataka Employers’ Association, exports from the State from the manufacturing sector alone roughly translate to about $250 million every month.

These come from about 300-export oriented companies as well as those companies catering to both the domestic and the international market. There are roughly about 500 garment industries that are exclusively export oriented.

The association said that industries in garment, auto, electronics, machine manufacturers and components that are now shut, since they are classified as non-essential, have been affected.

“A large number of medium and small scale, micro industries, export-oriented industries have been severely affected by the closure. We have requested the government to permit them to function to honour their export orders or domestic commitments with immediate effect,” president of Karnataka Employers’ Association B.C. Prabhakar told The Hindu . “Several industries are struggling to meet the supply deadline commitment.”

In the light of industries facing crisis, the association has shot off a letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa seeking exemption for export oriented industries, medium and small scale industries to function.

The association has also pointed out that neighbouring States, such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are permitting industries to operate having export commitments. “Several other States have also permitted industries with 50% employee strength,” he added.

“Many industries have rearranged working shifts, shop floor layouts, and also extended support to employees for testing, vaccination and treatment. In spite of their distress, industries have also invested for bringing the required essential changes in the infrastructure,” the association said.

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