With the government reverting to steeper power cuts, industry groaned Tuesday that it has suffered a loss of Rs 4000 crore in just the last four days, and Rs 20,000 crore since the crisis began in July.
According to Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) secretarygeneral M V Rajeswara Rao, the worst affected by the weekly three-day power holiday imposed on industry are the casual workers and dailywagers, who are the first to be laid off when factories grind to a halt.
According to sources, nearly 10 lakh dailywagers across the state have lost their jobs so far. If the situation continues, another five lakh are likely to be laid off. Industry sources said the chances of some regular workers losing their jobs too is not ruled out.
The sectors, where dailywagers have suffered most are textiles, engineering and electrical units.
Small-Scale Industries Federation president D V K Rama Rao said 80,000 workers are at risk in the industries located in Autonagar in Vijayawada.
In Prakasam district, some 10,000 workers have reportedly lost their jobs in granite polishing units.
“No one bothers about the workers in these units as they are in the unorganised sector,” said K Subba Rao, a member of the Chimakurthi Granite Workers Association.
The state’s power deficit has ballooned to 65 million units this week. Industry is having to bear 60-70 per cent of the power cuts. Many small units have turned to generators to cope ride out the power cuts.
In Guntur district, G Punnaiah Chowdary, president of the AP Cotton Mills Association, said spinning mills are losing `100 crore per month due to power shortage.
“Production has been cut 50 per cent and about 50 per cent of the work force has been laid off in some units,” said K Dayakar, supervisor at a spinning mill.
Industry fears a fallout of this on labour relations. “Management-worker relations are precarious at the moment,” said FAPCCI president Devendra Surana. “But what worries me most is what will happen in April when it is increment time. ” No industry is in a position to pay higher wages or give increments, he said.
The unwanted power holiday has pushed several small-scale units, already living on wafer-thin profit margins, into the red, sources said.
As a result, there’s trouble looming with bankers.
With small units unable to clear dues in time, banks have slapped notices on several industries