T strike paralysing state economy, says industry.

HYDERABAD: The two-day industrial bandh call given for Monday and Tuesday as part of the ongoing T-stir has raised the hackles of industry captains, who feel the latest bout of T-trouble may be lacking in violence but is slowly and surely paralysing the state’s economy and hitting investor confidence.

Attendance challenges, added costs incurred in ferrying employees to work, especially for those companies who don’t provide transportation facilities as well as cost of generating power through UPS and gensets to keep their units running will hit performance of AP-based companies during the quarter, feel industry captains.

Opposing the bandh, officials said that the obstruction to industrial and economic activity and stoppage of work in industries and commercial establishments would result in heavy loss of jobs and hardships to people, loss of production, dislocation of supply chain and loss of investments.

“Within the last one month we have had a VAT increase, a property tax increase with a fuel surcharge in the pipeline. There is already a recession going on and nationally industrial growth has been bad with figures for AP and Hyderabad slated to be in the negative. Given this backdrop, T-bandhs are creating all sorts of uncertainties, right from power shortages to giving customers the jitters. This is certainly the final nail in the coffin for AP’s industry,” said Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry ( Fapcci) senior vice president Devendra Surana. Surana, who heads the Rs 350 crore Surana group, points out that T-bandhs at alarming intervals had resulted in customers giving AP suppliers a go by and instead placing their orders with players from other neighbouring states.

According to Confederation of Indian Industry’s AP council vice president Suchitra Ella, the latest T-agitation was not only throwing industry out of gear, it was hurting the common man the most. “Imagine the plight of those who have not been able to step out of home to earn their daily living? By crippling transportation they are preventing people from going to work,” the CII AP vice-president said.There are also many small, medium and micro enterprises that don’t have the wherewithal to keep their units running either due to shortage of staff or power cuts,” she said.

Ella, who is also joint managing director of biotech major Bharat Biotech, expressed fears that the higher power costs that units are being forced to bear to keep their units running would hit revenues and bottomlines of most companies in AP.

Even IT companies, though covered under Esma, are worried this time about the worsening situation. On Thursday evening when top guns of some big IT companies in Hyderabad decided to put their heads together to figure out a way to ride out the ongoing bout of T-trouble, all they came away with was with a feeling of helplessness.

“The agitation is systematically demolishing the eco-system of the city and state. We had a debate on our next course of action but realized that though we have access to government there is no point in approaching them because even they are not in control of the situation. On the other hand, with the issue garnering international media attention our customers are becoming very anxious,” says a head honcho of a leading IT company on condition of anonymity.

Adding to the power woes of IT companies in Madhapur is the substation upgradation work that was taken up middle of last week, forcing daily six-hour power cuts in peak time. “We have to rely on UPS and gensets for six hours daily. This works out to almost Rs 9 per unit, which is double of what we pay when we draw from the grid,” points out an IT official.

Source : TOI

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