The hosiery industry in Ludhiana, Punjab has taken a big hit because of policies adopted by successive governments. Demonetisation and shoddy implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the present central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi added to the woes initiated by the earlier Manmohan Singh led UPA government that allowed free access to 46 textile items for Bangladesh. The adverse impact on the 12, 000 hosiery units has been deepened by the shutdown of Kashmir, with a major impact on sales in the Valley.
Since August last year, very few Ludhiana made sweaters, pullovers, caps, jackets, gloves and blankets have made their way into Kashmir. Dozens of units have shut down on account of the fall in demand. This has led to unemployment and despair among the former employees. This cut in production has led to a cut in the income of those in the professions of packaging, local and outstation transportation of produce.
Meanwhile, the provision of duty free access to hosiery items from Bangladesh continues to play havoc with the hosiery manufacturers in Ludhiana. Misusing these incentives many Indian traders have opened export units in Bangladesh. However, quite a large number of these items are not manufactured in Bangladesh but in China, Vietnam and Taiwan.