In order to conduct business, the manufacturers have to trust the firm for honouring its IOUs and till recently, the payment was indeed secure. But for the past four to six months, the traders had begun delaying payments on their IOUs and about 14-15 traders declared themselves bankrupt, creating an unprecedented cash-flow crisis in the market.This could lead to social unrest in the city as over 200,000 people draw their livelihood from the footwear business in Agra, with a fourth of them employed in small and big factories.Rajiv Gupta, a former president of the National Chamber of Industries and Commerce of Uttar Pradesh, said that since about 60 per cent of the domestic footwear trade in Agra was primarily in the unorganised sector, the layoffs in the footwear units were going unnoticed, but it is a fact that in the past month alone, at least 150-200 skilled footwear labourers and technicians have been rendered jobless due to low business volumes.At the root of the crisis is the liquidity crunch. Currently, the traders are busy clearing the payments on their credit notes under pressure of the middlemen, deferring on new purchases in the absence of buyers.
Agra footwear traders going belly up
by Vishal Sharma, Business Standard, 13 November, 2008
Four years ago, the fortunes of the city’s brass industry plummeted when the price of brass and other raw materials touched the sky. Now, the economic meltdown of the last three months has pushed prices to new lows, opening a deeper wound in the life of Moradabad’s famous brass industry.
Cracks appear in India\'s brass city
by Saubhadra Chatterji, The Business Standard, 14 November, 2008
The promotion of Indian handicrafts in the international market in the early seventies and eighties was a "distant dream" even for bigwigs, what to speak of a poor man in his early twenties. Taking up the challenge, he became an exporter, a career which was "too technical and sophisticated" those days even for highly qualified business professionals. However, the village boy, Navaratan Samadria, not only proved everybody wrong but became the "Godfather" of the Indian, handicraft exporters' community, raising the industry's revenue from a few hundred crores to nearly Rs 17,000 crore during his 30-year struggle. Today, Indian handi crafts and Mr Samadria are synonymous with each other. He founded EPCH (Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts), which introduced international level B2B fair in India ~ now considered one of the world\'s largest fairs - gave exposure to Indian handicrafts sector in American and European markets through B2B fairs in Western countries, and fought with government machinery to seek "regular oxygen" for artisans and exporters involved in the handicraft industry.
Need to upgrade quality of handicrafts
by Navaratan Samadria, The Statesman, 01 November, 2008
\"The first one was migrant workers\' house. The other had my carpet-making looms. I used to wash (the process of drying chemical-laced carpets) a hundred carpets on a single day. Now, as you can see, there are just three of them,\" Asir Ahmed said. \"Like a pariah dog in search of food, every morning I run everywhere in search of orders.\"
Thousands without jobs in carpet export hub
by Saubhadra Chatterji, The Business Standard, Mumbai, 10 November, 2008