KARUR: The pandemic and resultant lockdown across the globe has dealt a body blow to textile industry in Karur which is bracing for a loss of around Rs 1,500 crore. Karur is one of the hubs for manufacture and export of kitchen and household textiles.
For over 25 years, manufacturers and exporters from the district have been participating in the annual international textile fair in Germany through which they receive the majority of their orders. Industries also receive orders from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Every year, the industries receive orders worth Rs 3,500 crore in foreign exchange.
Though this year the industries received their share of orders, many were cancelled due to the pandemic, resulting in huge losses. With Europe and the US most affected by COVID-19, experts and industrialists have calculated a loss of over Rs 1,000 crore.
Gopalakrishnan, former secretary of Karur District Exporters Association, said, “Industries here receive orders in December and January, April and May and August and September. These are our peak seasons and business amounts to Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 crore. Now, finished products are lying in factories as we are unable to export them.”
He added, “The government has given the nod to start production. We can operate now, but many of our foreign buyers have cancelled orders. Till now, over 50 per cent of orders have been cancelled. It would be a miracle if there is business of over Rs 500 crore. We would lose August and September orders too if the
crisis does not come to an end. Industries here are on the verge of facing a loss of around Rs 1,000 to 1,500 crore.”
Speaking on assistance from the government, Gopalakrishnan said, “The government must provide us an exemption from paying ESI and PF to employees for at least six months. Interest on loans received for export trading must be waived and the repayment period of our loan amounts extended without any penalty. The central government must provide financial assistance and a fund of Rs 2 crore to MSMEs
through banks. Only through these kinds of assistance would industries here be able to restart production.”