Banarasi silk saree trade affected due to coronavirus outbreak

Varanasi: The ‘Banarasi saree’ trade is among the many industries in India that is facing the brunt of travel and export-import restrictions imposed due to the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus in China.

The Silk industries have been hit following the temporary restriction by the government.

General Secretary of Banarasi cloth industry Association, Rajan Behel said, “We are using the raw material which has already been imported but there is a chance of hardship in future. Banaras consumes 90 per cent of silk imported from China.”

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Due to the restrictions, the international market, trade in Banarasi Sarees has been affected, he said.

“Twenty per cent business has already been affected. At this rate Pure silk might disappear from the market,” he added.

According to Harshpal Kapoor, member of Silk Trade Association, Shipment from China had not come in from January 20 since there an annual holiday in China. It was supposed to start on February 4 but due to this disease, the shipment has not started yet.”

Kapoor said, “Without raw material, we can’t weave sarees but as of now we have enough raw material till the end of February. Else, it depends on China how soon it tackles the menace of coronavirus and starts to export silk.”

The virus originated in China’s Wuhan city in December last year and has since spread to various cities around the world.

Several countries including India have sped up the evacuation process after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global health crisis.

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