43 industrial units closed during pandemic in Himachal

Covid-19 has hit hard not only people’s lives but also the economy of the country and states including the industrial sector.

According to data filed in the House of Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh, a total of 43 industrial units have shut down during the pandemic in Himachal.

Rohit Thakur, a legislator from Jubbal and Kotkhai, had raised a question in the Vidhan Sabha. In a written response, Industry Minister Bikram Singh informed that the 34 largest industries have been shut down in Kala Amb area of ​​Sirmaur district while three industries have shuttered in Una, two in Baddi and Solan and one in Shimla and Kangra.

This industry manufactured automotive parts, electrical and electronic rubber equipment, household appliances, processed foods, and Portland cement, among others.

No less than 827 people lost their jobs due to the closure of these industrial units. A maximum of 481 people have been laid off in Sirmaur where the highest number of industries have shut down.

In Solan, 283 people lost their jobs and 26 industrial units were closed in Solan. Similarly, 17 people found themselves unemployed in Baddi and 10 in Shimla and Kangra.

Himachal is among the states with the highest unemployment rate. According to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in Himachal in February 2020 was 13.9% and ranks fifth after Haryana, Jammu-Kashmir, Rajasthan and Tripura. The state’s unemployment rate is also much higher than the national average of 8.1%. During the first wave of Covid, the unemployment rate was 26% in Himachal.

The situation was much better in 2016 and 2017, when the state recorded the unemployment rate between 1.2 and 1.7%. It started to increase from November 2017 and has not fallen below 10% since then.

According to data presented in the assembly, the state had a total of 8,82,269 unemployed young people registered in 72 state job exchanges as of January 31, 2021.

The number could be much higher because young people in rural areas are not registered in job exchanges.

A maximum of 1.86 lakh registered youths are unemployed in Kangra which is also the most populous district. Similarly, 1.66 lakh unemployed youths are registered in Mandi, the second most populous district.

Shimla has 79,640 unemployed youths, Una 69,136, Hamirpur 67,947, Chamba 64,869, Sirmaur 63,630, Bilaspur 59,338, Kullu 57,526, Kinnaur 8,493 and Lahaul-Spiti has the lowest number 5,300.


    Gaurav Bisht heads the Himachal bureau of the Hindustan Times. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.
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