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Rural job scheme ruled out of export sector
Apr '10
A proposal to extend the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to the export sector gets thumbs down from the Commerce Ministry, terming it non-practical.

According to the ministry, labour shortage in export units, as stated by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), cannot be tackled by linking MGNREGA and export promotion schemes, including the Special Economic Zone scheme.

Reason behind the above mentioned fact was that the export sector required skilled workers and that their pay will also be higher than the unskilled MGNREGA workers.

According to Dr Rahul Khullar, Commerce Secretary, exporters demanded factory labour at the cost of MGNREGA wages. He also pointed that one who intends on working with the export units and factories will demand for more pay than MGNREGA pay. Besides, MGNREGA's labour force will chose to work closer to home than in far away factories.

Under the MGNREGA, a minimum of 100 days of wage employment each financial year is dedicated to a household. Conditions such as provision of 280 days of work per year per household and 60 per cent employment to women were suggested by FIEO, exporter's apex body, to the Ministry.

“The export sector is shot of nearly five lakh labourers, mainly in the textile mills. But exporters are ready to go the extra mile and train unskilled manpower to fill in the shortage”, informed, FIEO President, A Sakthivel.

The Commerce Ministry insists that exporters seek advice from the Prime Minister's National Council on Skill Development and the Rural Development Ministry that are in charge of MGNREGA.

Advising sectors to approach the concerned ministries with problems of labour shortage, Dr Khullar also mentions that, “Labour shortage in the textile units was a result of textile employers' reluctance towards confirming labourers for a longer duration, which was due to the wavering nature of their business.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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