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Surat's textile industry may face acute labor shortage
Nov '12
The mass exodus of migrant workers during the festival season in textile industry may create labor shortage in Surat’s textile industry. Since the migrant laborers move out to their native places for a month long vacation during the festival season, 75 percent of the Surat’s textile industry remains closed.
Mr. Devkishan Manghani, president of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA), told fibre2fashion, “Among the textile workers in Surat, only 10 percent of the workers are from Gujarat and the rest ninety percent are migrant workers from all over India. These migrant laborers go to their native places for the Diwali vacation and this will create a huge cut-off in the textile production.”
“About one million of the laborers in the country’s biggest textile hub are from the northern part of India, mostly from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Odisha,” he adds. 
Talking about the steps taken by certain textile units to address the problem, he says, “Several weaving and embroidery factories, as well as textile units have started providing incentives to the migrant workers such as festival bonus, free food and accommodation”.
“However, although the textile factories in Surat will be closed down only by November 13, the migrant workers have already started moving out to their native places,” he informs.
“Many of these textile workers do not return back after vacations as they get ample work opportunities in their native place through various Government schemes like NREGA”, says Mr. Manghani.
“Some of these laborers get involved in agriculture and return back to work only after the festival of Holi”, he adds. 
Mr. Pramod Chaudhary, President of South Gujarat Textile Processors Association, however, holds a slightly different viewpoint and says, “The problem of labor shortage is not as severe during Diwali, as it is witnessed during the Holi festival.”
“Diwali vacations will be only for a week so it does not affect the industry to a great extent. On the other hand, most of the migrant workers will move out for the festival of Holi and during this period there will be acute labor shortage”.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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