Sambalpuri Bastralaya Cooperative Society suffered Rs 6 crore loss due to COVID pandemic

Sambalpur (Odisha), Jun 23 (PTI) Sambalpuri Bastralaya Handloom Cooperative Society Limited saw a business loss of around Rs 6 crore during the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 pandemic due to the closure of its outlets for around one and half months during the lockdown, an official said.

Though the lockdown has been partially relaxed and the outlets have opened now, the business is yet to gain pace, the official said.

Sambalpuri Bastralaya Handloom Cooperative Socieity Limited, is one of the largest and oldest weavers cooperative society of India.

Marketing Officer, Hemanta Kumar Mishra said: “There are 42 outlets of Sambalpuri Bastralaya Handloom Cooperative Society, including 40 in Odisha and one in Mumbai besides one in Kolkata. The lockdown began in the state from May 5 this year and the outlets were not allowed to operate till June 17, causing huge business loss.”

While the Sambalpuri Bastralaya Handloom Cooperative Society generally makes a business of Rs 50 to Rs 55 crore per annum, it makes a business of around Rs 6 crore during the month of May and June every year. But due to the closure of the outlets from May 5 to June 17, huge business loss was incurred this year, he said.

Mishra said, the Sambalpuri saree and other materials of Sambalpuri fabrics are sold during the marriage season besides for family functions and many marriages are held during May and June but the outlets remained closed during the main marketing season this year.

Moreover, many marriages were cancelled and family functions deferred due to the pandemic, he said, adding that online marketing of the Sambalpuri fabric was also poor and saree worth around Rs 4 lakh could be sold online during the lockdown period.

Though the outlets were closed, “we had given order for production to the weavers, who work for Sambalpuri Bastralaya Handloom Cooperative Society Limited. And hence, the closure failed to affect the income of those weavers,” he said.

Around 15,000 weavers work for the cooperative society. The weavers, who work independently and depend on the open markets to sell their products, faced a very hard time due to the lockdown, Mishra added. 

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