This industry earlier flourished as there was no major competition for it. Presently, however, the industry has to face tough competition from the carpets produced in Panipat and Amritsar, among other places. There are over 600 units in the industry that manufacture carpets, rugs and bed sheets, among other products. All of these units are micro ones, and employ over 12,000 people from the surrounding areas. The industry earns nearly Rs. 300 crore as collective annual turnover. The industry sells its products to almost all parts of the country, but it is yet to enter the international market.
“One of the major factor that is hampering the growth of the industry is the inadequate infrastructure available to it. There is absence of machinery in the industry, and the entire work is dependent on labourers,” says Rohit Pal, a manager of Shaan Carpets Industry.
“There is a shortage of workers in the industry, too. The production of carpets is time-consuming, and the workers are demanding for higher salaries. Many of them want to work under the NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme, and not in the industries, as they lack the skills needed for this kind of work,” says Kanwal Kumar, a manager at Raju Carpet Industries.
“Though a lot of toursists visit Agra and buy the carpets, the industry needs to be revived to grow further,” says Neeraj Kapoor, a manager at Kapoor Durries.
“The state government must provide financial support to the industrialists, help them in bringing in better infrastructure and modern machinery in the industry, so that the dependence on workers can be reduced,” says Kapoor.