Demonetisation tears up Ponduru Khadi biz
Come Sankranti! Every one purchases Ponduru Khadi to celebrate the festival of harvest. But this year the demonetisation played spoil sport for weavers.
Ponduru: Come Sankranti! Every one purchases Ponduru Khadi to celebrate the festival of harvest. But this year the demonetisation played spoil sport for weavers.
The popular Ponduru Khadi received a blow from an unexpected quarter. Demonetisation adversely affected the purchase of cotton and sale of finished products of khadi leaving the khadi handloom workers in the lurch.
Generally, Sankranti is the season for Ponduru Khadi sales which touches a high during the season. However, due to the non-availability of currency notes, there are no purchases and sales so far. Though the cash is in their accounts, there is no way to pay the workers in hard currency.
There are at least 800 khadi weavers working for the Andhra Fine Khadi Karmikabhivrudhi Sangham (AFKKS) in Ponduru, G Singadam and Santakaviti mandals in the district. These workers needed to be paid Rs 3 lakh by the society every week for purchasing the cotton yarn from them.
The weavers needed to be paid wages once a month. The Society could not purchase full stock of cotton yarn during the last one month. The society could procure only half of the cotton yarn from the workers but could not pay the amount to them.
Following high demand for yarn, a number of workers started making yarn almost doubling the production. But due to the demonetisation they could not be paid the wages though they are supplying yarn.
The society used to sell khadi worth Rs 1 lakh every day during the festive season of Sankranti. But people could not purchase as hard cash is not available with them this year. Though the AFKKS is using PoS machines they could sell khadi cloth worth only Rs 50,000.
Pattam Srinivasa Rao, manager of Saibaba Weavers’ Society, Ponduru, said that they could withdraw only Rs 24,000 per week from the bank affecting the purchase of yarn from the workers.
Basva Ramana, secretary of AFKKS, said that due to demonetisation the business worth several crores of rupees has come down to lakhs. The workers and people feel that Sankranti has lost its luster this year.
By M A Raju