Bharat bandh losses may mount to Rs. 26,000 crore: Assocham

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 20, 2013 17:36 hrs

Kolkata: Industry body Assocham on Wednesday said the loss to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) due to the strike by central trade unions could be about Rs. 26,000 crore, higher than its initial estimate of Rs. 15,000-20,000 crore.

"Against initial estimates of Rs. 15,000-20,000 crore, the GDP may be eroded by about Rs. 26,000 crore," the industry body said in a release.

"In the wake of a more than expected disruption, we estimate the loss to the GDP in today and tomorrow's bandh to be in the region of Rs. 25,000-Rs. 26,000 crore -- nearly 50 per cent of economic activity," an economic analysts' team from Assocham said.

The financial capital of Mumbai was hit badly, Assocham said, adding that the strike hit industrial activity and service sectors like banking and finance.

Most industrial states saw poor worker attendance, the trade body said, leading to the curtailing of productions shifts. With city transport being affected adversely, footfall in retail trading markets also considerably declined, even though some of them remained opened.

Expressing concern over the incidents of violence and destruction of public property, the chamber appealed to union leaders to prevail upon their rank and file and ensure that such ugly incidents do not occur.

"Such incidents completely shake the confidence of the industry and the market for which security and peace are of paramount importance."

Besides, retail customers chose to stay indoors leading to a considerable fall in the trading business, the lifeline of the country's economy, chamber President Rajkumar Dhoot said.

"The economy is battling local and global slowdown and cannot afford disruption. The strike will dent the market confidence as well," he added.

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