Importing recession


For the first time in seven years, the export sector has seen a steep decline of more than 22 per cent in past couple of months. Pink slips, units shutting down, abandoned consignments, delayed payments, among others have started to bleed the industry affecting the lives of many ordinary people who believe that the worst is yet to come. Hardnews will run a series on how economic slowdown is hurting ordinary people

Akash Bisht Delhi

India's exports have declined again by more than 10 per cent, a recent report revealed. This is the second consecutive fall after the exports declined by 12 per cent in October after seven years due to the recession and economic meltdown being witnessed by the US and the European markets.  Though the government has not yet released the original figures but the exporters in the capital fear that the trends are not very encouraging and the decline percentage could go even higher.

Rajiv Sharma, a manager with Export Cloth House in Delhi, confirms the rumors and points, "One of our consignment headed for US is docked at one of the ports in the Pacific Ocean and the whole consignment is just lying abandoned. The company is just not ready to take the consignment. Most of our payments are still due and we have some received the cheques but the management has been asked not to deposit in banks. My boss is in London in this regard." Sharma also mentioned how the market has been on the  slower side since the news of recession started to surface. "Suddenly, we lost all our existing contracts and there were no new contracts. There is complete chaos in the export sector at present," he says.

Many other export houses especially the ones dealing with textiles are facing the heat of the recent global phenomenon. Roshanlal of Durga Export Cloth House mentions that their business has just gone down by 50 per cent in past couple of months. "Nothing of this sort has been witnessed before and I am sure things will not get any better in coming days. We'll have to sack some people if need be because if there is no work then we don't need this kind of workforce," he says.

The global economic phenomenon has resulted in the slowdown of India's exports as several export destinations like US, UK, Japan, and other European countries are in recession. SC Jain, Secretary, Textile Association (I) Delhi, says, "Reliance has closed its textile units and served pink slip to many employees. Many small outfits have been shut and textile sector is bleeding. Earlier, we imported textile machines from China but now most of these orders have been cancelled as there is no demand in the market. The situation is deteriorating with each passing day and no one knows till what time would it last. We just hope for the best."

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