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COVID-19: Labour shortage post worker exodus hit industries in Maharashtra

When it comes to industries, the automobile sector that is already reeling due to dipping sales is badly hit due to reduced workforce.

Published: 06th June 2020 02:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2020 09:13 AM   |  A+A-

Labourers cut tree logs at a sawmill as seen on World Environment Day during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Nagpur Friday June 5 2020. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: Labour shortage is hitting both industrial and non-industrial sectors in Maharashtra where strict regulations on movement are implemented to check COVID-19 spread. Farmers are especially facing the crunch as sowing season is right upon them. Labourers are mostly sourced from adjoining states.

When it comes to industries, the automobile sector that is already reeling due to dipping sales is badly hit due to reduced workforce.

Dilip Batwal, secretary, Federation of Pune Chakan Industries, confirmed industries are facing a shortage of labour.

“Currently, only 40 per cent of employees are engaged after the government relaxing lockdown norms. In this belt, many major automobile firms like Bajaj, Tata, BMW, Mercedes have plants employing over six lakh people,” he said.

“Many migrants want to return but there is no travel facility to bring them back. The central government should start trains and the state government should lift restrictions over travelling within the state.”

Many automobile companies in Pune’s Chakan industrial belt are facing difficulties in meeting their export target.

Sugata Sen, deputy director-general of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturer, said that as many plants just started operations, it is very difficult for them given the labour shortage.

“Once the operation is in force, then we will do an assessment.”

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