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Exporters face severe labour crisis in Nepal
Feb '11
Increasing number of orders are flowing in from the global buyers to the producers and exporters in Nepal, but then owing to the severe dearth of labour, the Nepali producers are finding it difficult to meet the rising global demand and are thus avoiding to accept these international orders.

Several industries including the Pashmina, ready-made garments and carpets have been hit by this scarcity of labour, which has forced the exporters of these products to pull back their export plans.

This dearth of workers compelled the carpet exporters to keep away from accepting the international export orders during the months of September, October and November, last year, as they apprehended that they might not be able to deliver the goods timely. Even while the demand from global buyers for Nepal's hand-knitted carpet is growing, the industry is not able to fully meet this demand due to the dearth of workers.

As against the total requirement of a minimum two lakh workers, the carpet industry, presently, is managing with just 80,000 workers.

Such dearth of labour has resulted in a severe reduction in the number of carpet factories in Nepal, which has come down to just 100 from 1,500, some 10 years ago.

The industry is holding various reasons like the growing trade unionism in the sector, extended political instability and attractive employment opportunities coming from India, to be responsible for this dearth of workers in the domestic market.

Meanwhile, looking forward to meet the rising demand for Nepali carpets some of the carpet manufacturers have even shifted their production base to rural areas, where there is easy availability of labour and also lesser scope for unionism.

The situation is no different even for the ready-made garment (RMG) sector, as over six of the operational apparel units are confronting labour scarcity issues, in spite of offering lucrative wages.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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