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NREGP creates scarcity of textile workers
04
Sep '09
The textile and apparel units in the Northern Indian state of Punjab, are facing a severe man-power crisis, the kind of which it has never witnessed before. Workers who used to work before in the thousands of textile units have migrated to their home towns, lured by the employment opportunities provided by the government sponsored National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP).

Under the NREGP scheme, every adult in a household is guaranteed a minimum of 100 days manual work in a financial year. Migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who return to their hometowns once in a year are extending their stay and working in the NREGP project, which also helps them to be close to their families.

The state is heavily dependent on migrant labour for its industrial as well as farming activities as local men do not prefer to engage in labour activities. The local women work in the morning shift, while the migrant labour work in the other two shifts and as textile units work on a 24x7 basis, the shortage of workers hits productivity badly as machines have to be shut down.

Speaking to fibre2fashion, Mr Cheema, JMD of Cheema Spintex and President of Northern India Textile Mills' Association (NITMA), Punjab, said that, “Currently as such textile industry is going in a downward phase and to add to that is the labour scarcity in northern states of India as since under NREGP, any worker is eligible to get three months work in a year in his hometown”.

He added by saying, “As the textile industry is ongoing industry for the whole year, such scheme is adversely affecting production of the textile sector. Again one more problem faced by textile industry is that of retraining a fresh worker, who after receiving training, leaves and joins the NREGP scheme and comes back and rejoins”. “On the whole the NREGP is a non-productive scheme”, he concluded by saying.



Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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