MSMEs strike in Madurai to urge government to halt raw materials price hikes
Thousands of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from a range of industries held a one-day strike in Madurai, Tamil Nadu to protest rising raw materials costs following the pandemic.
The striking MSMEs urged the state and central governments to legislate to prevent further prices hikes to raw materials including plastic and metals, TNN reported. As well as MSMEs and foundries closing their shutters, a group of protesters held a demonstration in front of the Madurai District Collectorate with support from around 20 local MSME organisations.
Industry representatives at the protest stated that essential raw materials have seen their prices increase up to 87% compared to pre-pandemic times in 2019. This has caused MSME debts to rise since the pandemic and, without urgent government financial assistance, many MSMEs will be forced to close which will in turn lead to greater levels of unemployment, MADITSSIA president M S Sampath told TNN.
“A tonne of iron is now Rs 71,000 ($938.62), which is 87% more than its price two years ago (Rs 38,000),” said Sampath. “Aluminium price is up by 69% to Rs 2.43 lakh per tonne, copper up by 68% to Rs 7.28 lakh per tonne and plastic by 76% to Rs 1.66 lakh per tonne.”
Madurai is home to around 10,000 MSME units which employ around 70,000 people in the area. Trade organisations have asked the government to ban the export of industrial raw materials needed by domestic industry.
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