LEATHER INDUSTRY IN NORTHERN INDIA HIT BY DEMONETISATION

NATURAL WITH HINDI SPEECH
DURATION: 2.14
SOURCE: ANI
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS: NO ACCESS ARD/BBC
Leather industry in northern India hit by demonetisation
KEYWORDS: Leather industry, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, demonetisation, India
The leather industry in India's northern Agra city has been hit hard by the federal government's sudden withdrawal of high-value banknotes with labourers not getting their salaries and manufacturers having no money to buy raw material.
SHOWS:
AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA (DECEMBER 15, 2016) (ANI – NO ACCESS ARD/BBC)
1. WORKERS MAKING SHOES IN THE FACTORY
2. VARIOUS OF WORKERS MAKING SHOES
3. A WORKER STITCHING A SHOE SOLE
4. A WORKER CUTTING LEATHER
5. SHOES ON DISPLAY
6. A WORKER POLISHING SHOES
7. SHOE SOLES
8. SHOES ON A RACK
9. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) A LABOURER, DINESH CHAND, SAYING: "Demonetisation has badly affected us. We are not able to get money and same is the case with the owners. That's why there is no work in the market."
10. ANOTHER WORKER CUTTING LEATHER
11. MORE OF WORKERS CUTTING LEATHER
12. A WORKER POLISHING SHOES
13. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) A MANUFACTURER, SHARIK ANIS, SAYING: "We are not able to pay the labourers as they are not ready to accept cheques and those who are accepting, are not able to get money for five-six days. Rather than coming to work, workers are standing in the bank queues."
14. A PURSE ON DISPLAY
15. VARIOUS OF PURSES ON DISPLAY
16. VARIOUS OF JACKETS ON DISPLAY
STORY: The leather industry in India's northern Agra city has been hit hard by the federal government's sudden withdrawal of high-value banknotes with labourers not getting their wages and manufacturers having no money to buy raw material.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped a bombshell on November 8 by abolishing 500 and 1,000 rupee notes that accounted for 86 per cent of cash in circulation.
Agra accounts for nearly 30 per cent production of leather shoes in India and employs some hundred thousands of people directly and indirectly.
Majority of the manufacturing units are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and with their coffers running dry, there is little work available for labourers.
"Demonetisation has badly affected us. We are not able to get money and same is the case with the owners. That's why there is no work in the market," said a labourer, Dinesh Chand on Thursday (December 15).
Compounding the problems of labourers is the fact that most of them have no bank accounts and depend on the daily or weekly wages handed out by their employers to meet their needs. With no savings to fall back on, the labourers are staring at an uncertain future.
The industry has also seen a slump in demand with cash starved consumers saving money for essential expenses.
"We are not able to pay the labourers as they are not ready to accept cheques and those who are accepting, are not able to get money for five-six days. Rather than coming to work, workers are standing in the bank queues," said a manufacturer, Sharik Anis.
The move was aimed at cracking down on the shadow economy but has brought India's cash economy to a virtual standstill.
The government's sudden move has caused huge disruption to daily life, leaving people struggling to pay for basic goods like food and fuel.
The move to demonetise the large bills is designed to bring billions of dollars' worth of cash in unaccounted wealth into the mainstream economy, as well as dent the finances of Islamist militants who target India and are suspected of using fake 500 rupee notes to fund operations.

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