State of the Economy 2018

Only a Handful

The transition from a predominantly cash economy is shifting the balance towards large players, as small players struggle to survive in the post-GST regime

Photographs by Vishal Koul

The speaker system is blaring Laila O Laila, an earworm from a bygone decade but Kamal is oblivious to its tantalising beats. He gives us a nervous look and barely manages half a smile as our photographer goes about clicking pictures of the polishing unit where he works. “Most of the other workers have been fired, I do not know how long I will be here,” he says, glancing around. Like him, a significant chunk of the labourers in Surat are migrants from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.