Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Sep 27, 2002
Government - Politics
Bandh affects corporate Mumbai
Policemen removing wooden sleepers placed by Shiv Sena activists on a railway track during the bandh in Mumbai on Thursday.
MUMBAI, Sept. 26
BUSINESS in Mumbai came to a halt on account of the nationwide bandh called by the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad and supported by the Shiv Sena to condemn the terrorist attack on the Swaminaryan temple at Akshardham in Gandhinagar.
In the city, companies across the board, though officially working, saw thin employee turnout as a result of the bandh.
Calls to corporate offices of companies such as Siemens, L&T, Cadbury's, Britannia, Videocon, Philips, Marico, Onida and others either went unanswered or were taken by security personnel who offered a bemused, `Arre aaj bandh hai, tho office bhi band hoga na!' (Today is a bandh, so the office is also closed!)
There were a handful of companies such as HLL, Tata, Birla and Reliance that saw a clutch of executives troop in, but on the whole, there was "hardly anybody in the offices."
"Only those people who live nearby have turned up. Anyway we had advised our staff who live in the suburbs not to take a chance today as public transport services are usually disrupted at such times," was the common comment from companies where some people had managed to turn up.
Quite a few news conferences scheduled for the day were cancelled and postponed to a later date. Godrej Agrovet Ltd, for example, cancelled a news conference that was to be held today as did Castrol and Aviva Life Insurance among others.
Banks and clearing houses were almost inactive today on account of thin attendance, although most bank branches were officially open for the day.
Water cannons fired at BJP activists demonstrating in New Delhi on Thursday against the attack at Akshardham in Gujarat.
Reserve Bank officials said high-value inter-bank transactions did not take place, while negotiated dealing systems functioned on thin volumes.
However, clearing operations of the previous day went through smoothly, said the officials. At the retail level, withdrawals were a problem at many places.
On the stock markets, turnover fell sharply, as the offices of a number of broking firms and mutual funds were closed for the day.
An exception to the low turnover on the stock exchanges was the block deals on the ICICI Bank counter of over Rs 1,300 crore on BSE. Excluding these deals, the turnover on BSE amounted to only Rs 700 crore as against Rs 1,133 crore on Wednesday. The turnover on NSE amounted to Rs 1,598.42 crore; it was Rs 2,150 crore on Wednesday.
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