Indian strike costs an estimated 4.7 billion dollars
NEW DELHI (dpa) – A strike called by Indian trade unions has cost the economy an estimated 260 billion rupees (4.7 billion dollars), a business association said Thursday, as the action entered its second day.
The strike had disrupted business “more than expected,” and cost “in the region of 25,000- 26,000 crore rupees (250-260 billion rupees) – near 50 per cent of the economic activity,” the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India said.
ATMs were running dry in several towns as nearly 1 million employees of state-owned banks stayed away from work, NDTV news channel reported.
Most of the striking workers, who were protesting against the government’s economic policies, were from public banks and transport corporations or the manufacturing sector, Public transport was hit in New Delhi and several state capitals including Lucknow and Thiruvananthapuram, NDTV reported.
Security was strengthened in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi where workers pelted stones and set more than a score of vehicles on fire Wednesday in support of the strike.
Police said 70 people had been arrested in connection with the incidents. Schools and colleges remained closed in Noida Thursday as a precautionary measure.
Trade unions have criticised government initiatives to open up the retail and aviation sectors to foreign investment, alleged violations of labour laws, and cuts in fuel subsidies.