Delhi and its neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan have suffered a loss of about Rs 27,000 crore due to the ongoing farmers' protests over the three farm law, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has said. Farmers have been agitating against the new agricultural laws for more than a month on the Delhi border, due to which roads connecting the national capital to many states are closed.
CAIT's national president BC Bhartia and national general secretary Praveen Khandelwal, according to HT's sister publication Hindustan, said the supply of goods coming from Punjab and Haryana to Delhi has been affected badly. The supply of goods to Delhi from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and other states of the country has also been adversely affected, they added.
Bhartia and Khandelwal said that every day about 50,000 trucks come to Delhi carrying goods from different states and about 30,000 trucks carry goods outside the Capital. Due to the farmers' protest, not only the arrival of goods to Delhi but also the supply from the national capital to the whole country has been greatly affected. In such a situation, the sooner the solution is reached through discussion between the government and farmer leaders, the better it will be.
The traders' body said CAIT and the All India Transport Welfare Association (ATWA) are ensuring that the supply of essential commodities continues without any disruption and that there will be no shortage of essential commodities.
CAIT has said that the joint efforts of All India Transport Welfare Association (ATWA), the largest organisation of CAIT and transport sector, are working to continue the supply of essential commodities uninterrupted. For this, vehicles carrying goods from other states to Delhi have to travel longer as they are taking alternative routes except for highways.
Leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha have said they would intensify their agitation if the government did not accede to their demands during the next round of talks on January 4. The leader of the farmers' collective protesting three recent agriculture laws said they are ready with their agitation schedule and will be activated depending on how the talks would go.
Darshan Pal, a senior leader of the farmers' agitation, also said that the boycott of goods and services of certain industrial groups, including fuel stations and shopping malls run by them, would continue. Pal said all toll gates would be picketed on major highways to allow vehicles to pass freely as part of the protests.
Farmers have launched one of the largest strikes in decades to demand that the Centre revoke the three contentious laws approved by Parliament in September. The laws essentially change the way India's farmers do business by creating free markets, as opposed to a network of decades-old, government marketplaces, allowing traders to stockpile essential commodities for future sales and laying down a national framework for contract farming.