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Labour shortage grips Surat textile industry
Dec '11
The shortage of labour is affecting the textile industry in Surat, located in the west Indian State of Gujarat, according to an official of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA).

“The ground reality is that there is already high shortage of labour, which is affecting the Surat textile industry,” Mr. Devkishan Manghani, General Secretary of FOSTTA told fibre2fashion.

Recently, the Union Minister of State for Textiles Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi made a statement in Parliament that around 40-50 dyeing units have closed down in Surat, leading to an extra supply of labour in the Surat's textile industry.

Reacting to the statement, Mr. Manghani said, “A dyeing house employs around 300-400 workers. So, about 12,000-14,000 people became unemployed due to closure of units, but they were immediately absorbed by weaving and embroidery units in the region, which were facing shortage of labour. Thus, there is no more additional supply of labour.”

“In fact, there is shortage of labour in Surat textile industry even today. The shortage of labour has arisen due to NREGA, a rural employment generation scheme that is being currently run by the Central Government. Workers are relocating back to their villages to work under NREGA leading to scarcity of workforce for the city's textile industry,” he reasons.

Explaining how the shortage of workers is affecting the industry, he says, “Due to shortage of labour, the cost of production increases. This gives rise to a low production and high price situation, which makes it difficult for enterprises to survive amidst competition.”

“The problem gets magnified when the labour shortage is coupled with other factors like high rate of fuel and increase in rates of chemicals. Under such circumstances, entrepreneurs are left with no choice but to close down their textile units as it becomes unaffordable to run them,” he concludes.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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