There was a time when Savarkundla of Amreli district was the first name one recalled when talking about weighing scales. But the situation is different today.
The weighing scale industry of Savarkundla is completely shattered due to Covid19 and subsequent lockdowns. An industry that employs 20 to 25 thousand workers, today this industry is on its deathbed.
With around 400 factories manufacturing weighing scales, Savarkundla has made a global mark. When covid-19 was at its peak in China, the raw material import in the form of iron from China was affected. As of today the raw material availability has slowly picked up, but the situation is nowhere like before.
Workers who previously manufactured 20 to 25 scales on a daily basis now hardly make 10 weighing scales, not to forget they have a family to feed. A worker who once used to make Rupees 400 to 500 a day now merely earns Rupees 200 a day.
The weighing scales manufactured in Savarkundla are electronic in nature and electronic spare parts are imported from China. The raw material for electronic weighing scales is highly expensive in India and the workers who used to make 25 scales a day now post lockdown are able to manufacture only 8 scales.
People associated with the weighing scale manufacturing industry are of the opinion that the government should take some concrete steps for this industry to sustain. A factory owner, Mr.Kanubhai Dodiya adds, for an industry which employs 25,000 people the government should propose some policy benefits. With the unlock process and a lot of relaxation in the covid guidelines, the factories have resumed their work but the industry continues to face loses.
He further adds that iron which was available at Rupees 40 a kg is now available at Rupees 80 a kg. And not to forget that transportation, too, has become costly.
Speaking about industry clients Kanubhai added states like West Bengal, Bihar, Tamilnadu, Rajasthan are among the biggest purchasers of weighing scales from Savarkundla. But with these States worst affected due to covid-19, the business with them is almost nil.
Jayanti Lal Makwana, president of Savarkundla weighing scale association says “The industry is about to die. The raw material is costing us very high and we have no option left but to sell at a higher price. We still have to recover our dues from our clients. The prices of raw materials are on a constant rise and importing them from China is not affordable to us.”