Amritsar’s fan, carpet industry on brink of closure

AMRITSAR:Amritsar’s once famous fan manufacturers and carpet weavers are on the verge of extinction due to high input cost, shortage of skilled labourers, lack of innovation and flight of production units to other states.

Amritsar’s fan, carpet industry on brink of closure

ILLUSTRATION: SANDEEP JOSHI

sanjiv@tribunemail.com

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 26

Amritsar’s once famous fan manufacturers and carpet weavers are on the verge of extinction due to high input cost, shortage of skilled labourers, lack of innovation and flight of production units to other states.

The number of fan manufacturers has shrunk to less than 70 from over 2,500 units in early 80s, industry experts said. Amritsar, which was a major hub for producing various types of fans — ceiling, table, exhaust and pedestal — is now struggling to survive.

“Gradually, Amritsar industry has lost to other production centres such as Ghaziabad, Delhi and Varanasi. As these centres are closer to source of raw materials, the Amritsar units lost on competitiveness,” said Baladev Singh, a fan manufacturer of Amritsar.

The manufacturers also complained that discontinuation of freight equalisation policy made the raw material costlier for the city-based manufacturers as compared to manufacturers of other states. 

Skilled workers also migrated for better future to other states with the growth of similar industrial clusters in different parts of North India, the  manufacturers said.

Former fan manufacturer-turned-hotelier Satnam Singh recalls that once flourishing business has become a cottage industry where the proprietor is the worker and his residence is the workshop. He blames the government’s apathy for the misery. “Leave aside any bailout package, no government ever bothered to even constitute a commission to take stock of the problems the industry is facing,” he said.

The government officials have been evasive on this matter. The department does not keep trade-specific numbers of industrial units. Besides, it is not mandatory for industries to register themselves with the department, Department of Industry and Commerce Deputy Director BS Brar said. He said no assessment was ever carried out to know the status of local industries.

The carpet industry of the city has a similar story. It has been facing hard times because of acute shortage of trained manpower.

The city, which was once known for hand-made Persian-style carpets (Bukhara style), is witnessing its extinction. The city had seen the glorious days of carpet weaving as Amritsar’s products used to be exported to Russia and European countries until 1995.

Industrialists also link the attitudinal change to this decline. Weaving is mainly done by skilled women. Weaving required extremely focused attention and arduously long sitting hours. Besides, disenchantment due to low salaries, TV serials also distracted the women workforce. Increased awareness towards girls’ education and attractive career options also led to the shortage of trained workforce.

Carpet exporter Vikram Makhani said a steep reduction in GST rate was unlikely to revive the industry. Focal Point Industries Association chairman Kamal Dalmia said the government could revive these clusters by providing financial incentives and technical assistance.

Top Stories

Centre worried lockdown exemptions for farmers not percolating to field level

Centre worried lockdown exemptions for farmers not percolating to field level

More relaxations for agriculture-farming sector, tea industr...

22,000 Tablighi Jamaat members, their contacts identified, quarantined: Govt

22,000 Tablighi Jamaat members, their contacts identified, quarantined: Govt

'Rate of rise in coronavirus cases in India less than other ...

Coronavirus: Punjab announces Rs 50-lakh cover for frontline cops, sanitation workers

Coronavirus: Punjab announces Rs 50-lakh cover for frontline cops, sanitation workers

Finalise security plan for smooth procurement: CM to DGP

PM Modi speaks to Trump on coronavirus cooperation

PM Modi speaks to Trump on coronavirus cooperation

Research institutions from two countries engaged in multinat...

Cities

View All

Two Jamaatis test +ve in Mohali, district count 12

Belong to Kumbhra and Mauli Baidwan, admitted to hospital

Grocery stores in Chandigarh run short of branded stock

Companies, distributors yet to streamline delivery system, a...

19-year-old budding golfer converts backyard into range

Aadil, who won his maiden PGTI title last month, tries innov...

Healthy baby born to Covid-19 positive woman at AIIMS; first such case in Delhi

The baby's mother who was nine-months pregnant had tested po...

Delhi reports 91 new cases in 24 hrs; total rises to 384

CM launches WhatsApp helpline 8800007722 for info on Covid-1...

Bust virus myths via ‘Chai and Why?’

TIFR will interact with people to give them scientific knowl...

Not wearing mask may land you FIR

Police have registered several FIRs under Disaster Managemen...

Shimlapuri patient off ventilator, stable

Health team searches for contacts

Patiala villagers self-isolate

Seal entry and exit points of their area/localities

Mosques inspected

Fear being created by fake video: Patient

Says person shown in clip not me, urges people to follow hea...