Jat stir: Industry says Rs.34,000 crore loss to northern states

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) With the Jat agitation for job quotas continuing in Haryana, Indian industry on Monday said the stir had already caused thousands of crores of losses in north Indian states and a business association demanded the government compensate traders impacted by the violent disruptions.

There is a huge loss of economic activity not only in Haryana but across the country’s northern states, the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a statement here.

“Based on inputs received from various industry stakeholders across the states, we estimate that these states may face Rs.34,000 crore loss of economic activity due to the Jat agitation during the last few days,” PHD Chamber president Mahesh Gupta said in a statement here.

“Overall activity has choked and may result in a huge loss in the GSDP of states for the last quarter of FY15-16,” he said.

Noting that the running of around 550 trains have been disrupted by the stir, which can impact economies beyond north India, the statement noted that the northern states – Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Chandigarh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh _ contribute around 32 percent to India’s GSDP.

India’s biggest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki has halted production at two facilities in Haryana, which is slated to hold its global investors summit – “Happening Haryana” – on March 7.

“The ongoing violent agitation in Haryana has already dealt an estimated blow of Rs.18,000-Rs.20,000 crore by way of loss to public and private property, and halting trade, industry, small business and transport,” industry chamber Assocham said in a statement here.

“The collateral damage to the economic activities to other states in terms of loss to production, transport and movement of people would add a few thousands crore more to the overall loss to the national economy,” it added.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Monday urged both the union and Haryana governments to declare adequate compensation to affected traders whose shops have suffered damage.

It also called for for setting up a joint committee of officials and trade leaders to assess the damage caused in different cities of Haryana.

“Trading activities in Haryana have come to standstill in past days due to agitation and supplies to other states passing through Haryana have been greatly affected. Transportation of goods has virtually stopped,” CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement here.

“CAIT has called for immediate steps from both central and state governments for bringing normalcy in business,” he added.

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