Jagjit Singh Sokhi, the President of Sewing Machine Industries in Ludhiana said that Afghanistan placed an annual order 150-200 crores. “The Afghan crisis is a huge blow to us, especially after COVID. Afghanistan takes a lot of our machines, they are supplied in bulk to Afghanistan. We expect a 40% downfall in our trade,” Sokhi said.
Since the change in regime, the industry has lost one of its most valuable customers. The Ludhiana based industry sold nearly 1.5 lakh sewing machines and 5-6 lakh spare parts to Afghanistan.
“Machines produced here are famous for their quality. Besides being sold domestically, they are exported to the Middle-East and several Islamic countries because embroidery is really popular in these countries,” Sokhi further added.
Smandeep Singh is another businessman in the sewing machine industry who faces the same problem. He said , “Our family has been in this industry for the past 50 years. 70% of our exports go to Afghanistan. But this power crisis has impacted our business. Export have stopped for the past two months. Our existing orders, payments have stopped. Production has been reduced by 50%. Future does not look good,”.
The Taliban assumed power over the capital city of Kabul on August 15, 2021. They faced very little resistance from the National Army. The former President, Ashraf Ghani, deserted the country hours before the invasion. Taliban is now the new regime.
Since the take-over, Afghanistan has been in a state of both economic and social tension. Countries like UK, USA, Qatar and even the United Nations have held meetings to discuss the humanitarian crisis that has emerged in Afghanistan.
(Image Credits: Wikipedia)