Over 40,000 people working in various industries, including those in the export sector, in Jalandhar have lost their jobs primarily due to steep reduction in production -- a direct fallout of the economic slowdown dawning on India as a result of the global financial crisis.
According to sources, the city has mainly two types of industry, sports and those pertaining to manufacturing of engineering goods, including hand tools.
As major portion of the production of sports goods manufactured here go in for exports so global meltdown has hit it more than the slowing down of the economy back home. Due to non-obtaining of orders both from global and domestic market, around 25,000 small time labourers have lost their jobs, they said.
"The orders placed with the exporters in May and June which were to be shipped in January onwards have already been put on hold and the stocks are lying with the manufacturers or exporters and no fresh orders are coming thus not adding to production requirement," one of the leading exporters of sport goods said.
Sports Goods Export Promotion Council, regional director, Rana Raghunagh Singh, said: "In May the exports of sports goods from Jalandhar were worth Rs 49.1 crore (Rs 491 million), in June Rs 46.7 crore (Rs 467 million), in July Rs 44.6 crore (Rs 446 million) and in August it was reduced to Rs 36.4 crore (Rs 364 million). While data of the next months have yet to be complied but the decrease would be around 15-20 per cent."
In the engineering goods manufacturing industry, the industrialists came back empty handed from the international trade fairs, which resulted in virtually stoppage of production and again workers were at the receiving end and about 15,000 workers lost their jobs in this sector.
Opinder Singh, assistant director, Engineering Goods Export Promotion Council, said that due to recession there was 40-45 per cent reduction in exports of engineering goods.
"In hand tools production, a major employment provider, exports have come down by 30-35 per cent," he said.
Gursharan Singh, president, Federation of Jalandhar Industrial and Traders Association, said that nearly 10,000 workers in hand tools manufacturing sector had lost their jobs in the last few days and there may be more job cuts in the near future.
Udyog Nagar Manufacturers Association president Tejinder Singh Bhasin said that around 200 units of pipe fittings, gun metal, scaffolding have shed around 5,000-7,000 workers, who were 50 per cent of the total workforce in the area.