Thousands of shoe workers lose jobs after 35 units close in Agra


By Brij Khandelwal
Agra, Sep 23 |
Around five thousand trained shoe workers of Agra are now without work as over 35 leather shoe units have downed shutters following changes in the purchase policy by several government departments few years ago.

Agra is the biggest hub of leather shoe industries in India and exports a major chunk of its production. The industry employs over 2.5 lakh trained hands.

More than 80 per cent of all shoes for the Armed Forces and paramilitary agencies are manufactured in Agra. “Since Mughal times, Agra has been a major supplier of footwear all over India,” says an industrial consultant.

Members of the Boot Manufacturing Association said, “The recent changes in the purchase policies by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) and other government bodies have hit hard the Agra industries. The parameters have changed.

“Preference is now being given to units with higher annual turnover, above Rs 20 crore. This excludes the smaller, tiny, and cottage units that till now were able to participate in the tender process.”

Association secretary Anil Mahajan said the government policies are now promoting only big business houses and units at the cost of smaller units that employ thousands of workers. Machines are taking over. This has proved detrimental to the interests of smaller units in Agra, Kanpur, and Kolkata, Mahajan added.

Sunil Gupta, the president of the Association said, “Shoes costing only around Rs 200 were being purchased for over Rs 600 by the government agencies.”

Mechanised units were being importance, whereas in terms of quality it does not make any difference. Shoes manufactured by hands are as good as those produced by machines, Gupta claimed.

The middlemen or big retailing giants were taking advantage of the changed policies and supplying shoes manufactured by smaller units, to the government bodies.

“On the one hand the Union government wants to increase employment potential, on the other hand, faulty policies were compelling smaller labour intensive units to shut down,” local shoe manufacturers said.

Association members said the government agencies were buying shoes from big firms that purchased the same shoes from smaller units. “All because of the wrong purchase policies. Actually, nobody has been able to explain the crying need for this abrupt change in purchase policy by the DGS&D and various other government departments, including the NCC,” Mahajan told IANS.

However, shoe industry consultant, Dr Abhinay Prasad told IANS “The real problem is keeping pace with the latest technology and upgradation. At the national level, there cannot be a separate stand-alone MSME policy for Agra. I am surprised at the logic that national policy favours Delhi and other cities, but not Agra.

“If a policy is unsuitable for Agra, then the real problem is with the manufacturers, their failure to adapt and change in response to new challenges and demands. They are playing the emotional card of raising fears about unemployment and flaunting the caste fears. The affected Agra units should immediately upgrade technology and change their mindsets. Generally, these small units are steeped in century-old practices and resisting change.”

Source: IANS

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7 Reasons Why You Should Purchase Italian Furniture

7 Reasons Why You Should Purchase Italian Furniture

Very often we see people speaking ever so highly of the Italian furniture they own, while we see others gushing over Italian furniture and expressing their deep desire to own at least one such piece of furniture. Italian design and decor are widely hailed across the world for their strong emphasis on quality and simple shapes that combine both tradition and modernity through the finest craftsmanship.

The way a person decorates their home is a reflection of their personal style and identity. Needless to say, tastes and preferences vary wildly, especially when it comes to items of furniture with regard to their size, shape, texture, and color.  However, regardless of the specific kind of design a person likes, Italian furniture is a dominant player in the furniture and home design industry.

For several centuries, Italy has been considered to be a hub for culture, literature, and the arts as well as architecture and design. Italian style interior design has been the preferred choice for an ever-increasing number of people, and this is not just a recent trend. Italy is a country that is synonymous with class, sophistication, and exceptionally high quality, and this shows in the sheer popularity of Italian furniture today. Italian sofa manufacturers take great pride in the quality and design of their sofa sets, and one need not look far to see that even the most discerning customers are duly pleased with Italian furniture.

So what is it that makes Italian furniture so popular? Let’s take a closer look!

Timeless charm and appeal

Italian sofas, chairs, tables, and other pieces of furniture have a charm that is impossible to compete with, leave alone outdo. Not only are Italian furniture pieces renowned across the world for their quality and appeal, but they are also items whose aesthetic value appreciates over time. Italian furniture has an inimitably characteristic beauty and these furniture pieces only tend to look even better as the years’ pass. The fact that only the best quality materials are used for their manufacture is what makes Italian furniture so sought after.

Strong and durable

While many prospective customers will tend to get deterred or even discouraged by the fact that Italian furniture costs a fair amount of money, these furniture pieces are made with the best quality materials and are guaranteed to last for decades if not centuries. That being said, purchasing Italian furniture should be best viewed as an investment and not just an expenditure, as the elegance, durability, and comfort that these furniture pieces will offer you are their own reward.

Unbeatable quality and elegance

Italian artisans and craftsmen are famous across the world for their dedication, patience, and attention to detail. It goes without saying that Italian products, in general, are synonymous with high quality, and one only needs to look at history to see how true this is. Since time immemorial, Italian manufactures have strived for excellence and have always made sure that the products they make are nothing short of the best. Therefore, Italian furniture is a symbol of Italian perfection, sophistication, and class.

Exquisitely comfortable

The very purpose of furniture pieces such as sofas, chairs, and couches is to provide comfort to people. Italian furniture will not just provide unmatched comfort but will also give any person the feeling of being in exquisite and opulent surroundings. There is no doubt that a handcrafted piece of Italian furniture will convey a feeling of elegance and sophistication.

Wide variety of furniture designs

Many people are under the wrong impression that Italian furniture is available only in very specific parts of the world and that they are few in number. The good news is that this is not true. Artyz offers you a wide assortment of Italian furniture, and you are sure to find something that perfectly suits the design and aesthetics of your home. Not only will you be able to choose from sofas, ottomans, tables, beds, tables, and much more, you will also have the choice of selecting from a wide variety of designs. Given the fact that a lot of hard work and craftsmanship goes into making Italian furniture, you can make your living space truly unique by purchasing one or more exquisite furniture pieces.

High caliber craftsmanship

Italy is a world leader in manufacturing for a number of reasons. To begin with, only the highest quality of materials are used, and this, coupled with the unique and unparalleled skill sets that Italian artisans have, you can be assured of nothing less than the best. Italy has long been hailed for its contributions to several fields of the arts, such as painting, sculpture, music as well as design. That being said, painstaking hard work, unbridled dedication, and sharp attention to detail have made Italian craftsmanship an ideal in and of itself.

Novelty and inimitability

Unlike cheaper, mass-produced furniture that is readily available and most often delivered in a cardboard box, Italian furniture pieces are meticulously handcrafted and made with immense dedication and focus on the details. Italian furniture is very eye-catching and will without a doubt convey a sense of luxury and opulence to both residents and guests alike. Such furniture pieces will have a direct effect on the mindset and mood of residents as they will notice how the furniture pieces enhance and enrich the home.

Before you rush off to purchase Italian furniture pieces for your home, do check out Artyz. Artyz is a renowned furniture showroom in Kolkata that offers you a vast range of furniture choices that can suit the requirements of any living space and can accommodate any budget. As a leading furniture showroom, the focus remains entirely on providing top-quality furniture at affordable and reasonable prices. Simply take your pick from the diverse furniture selection and let Artyz handle the rest. By having Italian furniture in your home, you will be able to liven up your living space in unimaginable ways. The sheer elegance of Italian furniture is what creates a statement like no other style.


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