22:02 GMT04 March 2021
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    Thousands of farmers, mainly from India's agricultural states of Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at Delhi's Singhu, Tikri, and Ghaziabad borders for over two months against three farm laws passed by the Narendra Modi government last September.

    North India is currently incurring l410 million per day in losses, "from the value chain and transport disruption because of the farmers' protests," the country’s key industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) told Sputnik.

    According to Deepak Sood, the Secretary-General of ASSOCHAM, the non-government trade association and advocacy group, the ongoing farmer protest has “severely affected the inter-connected economies of the region of north-Indian states like Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh".

    "The protest is hitting every industry — agriculture and horticulture, food processing, cotton textiles, automobiles, and farm machinery, among others."

    "The size of the combined economies of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir is about $2,500 million," Sood said, adding, "With the ongoing farmers' agitation and blockade of roads, toll plazas and railways, the economic activities have come to a halt. Industries such as textiles, auto components, bicycles, and sports goods which cater significantly to the export markets would not be able to fill orders."

    India's trade body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also said that the farmers’ agitation on Delhi borders caused a loss of about $6.8 billion to the economy.

    "This is quite alarming at a time when post-COVID, business activities were picking up," CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.

    The Narendra Modi government recently proposed 18 months of abeyance on implementing three new farm laws and setting up a joint committee to find an amicable solution to end the deadlock. But farmers, on Thursday, rejected the government proposal.

    Farmers have been protesting against the farm reforms brought about by the Modi government: the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce, the Farmers Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services, and Amendment to the Essential Commodities Act 2020.


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