Urging the government and farmers’ organisations to resolve the impasse over new agriculture laws, industry body ASSOCHAM said on Tuesday (December 15) the ongoing protests are dealing a big blow to inter-connected economies of the region.

A daily loss of Rs 3,000 crores to Rs 3,500 crores is resulting in economies of the region from the value chain and transport disruption because of protests, according to ASSOCHAM rough estimates.

Though the economies of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are predominantly based on agriculture and horticulture, several industries like food processing, cotton textiles, automobile, farm machinery, IT have become their lifeline.

Besides, vibrant services sectors including tourism, trading, transport and hospitality, have added to the strength of the regions, known for their enterprising farmers, entrepreneurs and innovators.

“The size of the combined economies of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K is about Rs 18 lakh crore. With the ongoing farmers’ agitation and blockade of roads, toll plazas and railways, the economic activities have come to a halt,” said ASSOCHAM president Niranjan Hiranandani.

“Industries like textiles, auto components, bicycles and sports goods which cater significantly to the export markets will not be able to fulfil their orders ahead of Christmas, harming the goodwill among global buyers,” he said in a statement.

ASSOCHAM secretary general Deepak Sood said the supply chain disruptions are also taking a toll on retail prices of fruits and vegetables across the country as the region is a major producer of these items.

“Industries, farmers and also the consumers are paying a heavy price for the serious disruption in the supply chain. Ironically, these disruptions have come about when the economy had started unlocking from the COVID-19 impact,” he said.

Farmers have been protesting on different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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