Cauvery water dispute: 2 days bandh in Karnataka to cause loss of Rs 4000 crores
The recent two-day bandh in Karnataka, triggered by protests against releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, is expected to result in significant economic losses estimated at around Rs 4,000 crore. Industry groups like KEA and FKCCI are concerned about the economic impact, hindering the state's recovery efforts post-COVID-19.
The recent two-day bandh in Karnataka, sparked by protests against releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, is set to cause significant economic losses for the state. Industry groups like the Karnataka Employers Association (KEA) and the Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) estimate that the bandh could lead to losses of about Rs 4,000 crore for Karnataka.
KEA and FKCCI are worried about the bandh's economic impact. Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, the president-elect of FKCCI, points out that even a one-day closure, initiated by traders, could result in a whopping Rs 100 crore loss in GST collection for the state. These financial setbacks affect various economic sectors, severely impacting overall economic activities in the state.
Industry representatives also argue that bandhs pose a significant challenge to Karnataka's ongoing economic recovery, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruptions caused by these bandhs hinder the state's progress towards its ambitious goal of becoming a $1-trillion economy.
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BC Prabhakar, President of KEA, stresses that bandhs have harmful effects on people's livelihoods and should not be a viable option for addressing concerns, whether they are sentimental or political. While supporting the Cauvery issue, industry associations firmly believe that bandhs are an inadequate means of protest.
The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FKCCI) estimates that a business typically needs at least one week to recover from losses incurred during a single day of closure.
Hotelier's Association, a sector employing nearly 10 lakh people directly or indirectly, anticipates a loss of around Rs 100 crore in excise duty due to the impact of the bandh. Unlike some industries that can quickly resume operations and recover losses, the hotel industry faces more significant challenges in bouncing back from such disruptions.
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The Union of Private Transport Organizations has extended moral support for the bandh, even though no formal notice has been released yet. A meeting has been scheduled at 7 p.m. involving the organization's office bearers and presidents of 37 affiliated groups to discuss their participation in the bandh. Presently, they have conveyed their moral support for the protest.
Tamil Nadu's transport bus services to Karnataka have been suspended, starting from tonight. Over 350 buses operated by Tamil Nadu Transport between Bengaluru and Tamil Nadu are affected.
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The suspension will culminate with a complete stoppage of bus services from Tamil Nadu by 10 p.m., including the return of buses arriving from Tamil Nadu at the Karnataka border. Tamil Nadu Transport has taken this precautionary measure to avoid potential disruptions during the bandh.
Several auto organizations in Bengaluru have expressed support for the bandh. ARDU (Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union) has confirmed its backing for the bandh and will actively participate by suspending auto operations during the protest. These organizations advocate for the preservation of the Cauvery River.