Video Editors: Sandeep Suman and Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Experts and common people alike received a rude shock last month when the GDP growth rate for the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20 was revealed to be at 5 percent. It became clear that the sluggishness in the economy that was being discussed, had spread its roots into all quarters of the economy.
The local market in Aliyar, Haryana shows the fine print of the economic slowdown that has gripped the country.
Situated exactly opposite the Manesar manufacturing unit of Maruti Suzuki, the market’s economy is directly linked to the well being, or the lack of it, of the automobile major’s business.
Needless to say then, that the unprecedented slowdown in the automobile sector has affected the Aliyar market significantly.
“We have been staying here for 10-12 years but this slowdown is unprecedented. There has been a 60 percent dip in my sales. If I used to earn a rupee earlier, I only earn 40 paise now,” Kishan Singh, a vegetable seller in the market, told The Quint.
“If the current situation of the business continues, then most of us will have to shut shops,” Neeraj Kumar, a garment seller, said, adding that he will be forced to head back to his village in Bihar if his sales do not pick up in the upcoming festive season.
On being asked about the reason behind the crisis, the local businessmen unanimously blamed the slowdown in Maruti and other automobile companies in the area.
“Every day we get to hear that the companies have laid off employees or that they are not paying them,” Anand Sharma, a grocery shop owner told The Quint.
“Companies where 100 workers used to work earlier, now have just 50 of them. Be it any company – Maruti, Honda or some other company – they are laying off workers,” Kishan Singh added.
The cascading effect of the slowdown can also be witnessed in Aliyar as many shopkeepers have laid off workers employed by them, in order to cut down on expenses.
“Earlier I used to have two employees but now I am not able to fend for myself, how can I keep them? I had to ask them to leave,” Ravinder, who owns a barber shop, said.