War shadow on Bengal foundries as stocks pile up, economies slow down

Export orders have been slowing down since Jan, impacting SMEs and depriving workers of overtime pay, a crucial wage component

Bengal foundries

Ishita Ayan Dutt Howrah/Kolkata
An inventory pile-up, coupled with a slowdown in major economies, mainly triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war, is taking its toll on the foundry hub of Howrah in West Bengal, the once-fabled Sheffield of the East.
Export orders have slowed since January this year, hitting small and medium-sized units in particular. Lower income for owners means lower income for workers.
For years, Abhijit Saha worked in a foundry at Howrah’s Benaras Road – which has a large concentration of foundry units – but, of late, he has been forced to switch jobs in the wake of falling income.
“I earn Rs. 350 for a single shift which is not good enough. With overtime, which is like a double shift, the income

First Published: Jun 27 2023 | 2:18 PM IST

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