New Delhi: Industry bodies like Assocham and CII said that Thursday’s ‘Bharat Bandh’ would have caused losses ranging between Rs 10,000-12,500 crore to the economy, which is battling slowdown.

Estimating the losses arising out of the bandh at Rs 10,000 crore, Assocham said the political parties should support economic reforms to facilitate "Open Bharat" rather putting the shutters down.

"The bandh eroded the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by loss estimated at Rs 10,000 crore thereby hitting the already slowing economy" Chamber Secretary General DS Rawat said in a statement.

According to CII, the economy would have suffered a loss of around Rs 12,500 crore.

"While an exact loss for the entire economy is not known, it can be estimated that almost Rs 12,500 crore has been the loss in terms of disruptions in production and trade," it said.

The nation-wide bandh called by BJP, Left parties and United Progressive Allaince’s (UPA) outside supporter SP to protest diesel price hike and FDI in multi-brand retail evoked mixed response with life and trade being disrupted in some states.

Meanwhile, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) claimed that lakhs of traders participated in the protest by shutting their shops.

"It was a successful trade bandh which amply demonstrated the anger and resentment of the trading community of India on crucial issue of FDI in retail," CAIT Secretary General
Praveen Khandelwal said.

CII said that while reforms will benefit the people, economic logic is often difficult to translate into popular logic, which is easily comprehended by all.

Easy and comprehensible communication is as much a necessary exercise as are the announcements which are made after detailed deliberations, it added.

"We hope that parties across the political spectrum of the country would work to ensure that the economic reforms that are necessary for India are carried out," CII President Adi Godrej said.

Urging the political parties to shun the populist measures, Assocham Secretary General said, "The subsidies which will be saved by hiking diesel prices and limiting subsidised LPG cylinders will only be used to fund government's welfare programmes on public health, education and employment."

Further, Rawat said that India Inc is not complete without traders including small shop-keepers. Their concerns arising out of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail should be addressed.

He said to say that the entire traders' community would be wiped out because of the Walmarts of the world would be hyping up the issue.


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