Textile value Chain

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Holi and General Elections : Surat textile industry to face labour shortage

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The Production in Surat-based synthetic textile industry will remain down upto three months starting from mid March. As thousands of migrant workers head home for festival of Holi, the shortage of  workers in textile industry becomes a major worry. The industry will take a production hit of more than 30% due to shortage of manpower. Beside Holi, this year the upcoming general elections has its repercussions on the industry. Workers who usually go on leave for Holi tend to return by last week of March or first week of April. However, according to textile industry sources, many of the workers are not likely to return before May leading to acute labour shortage.

The total workforce employed by fabric manufacturing, weaving and processing units in the textile industry in Surat stands at around eight lakh., most of which hail from states like Orissa, Bihar, UP and Maharasthra, among others, are on an exodus to their homes. "The fabrics production is already down by 30 per cent. More than 2 lakh workers have gone on leave for Holi. But this year is different. With general elections coming up, workers have hinted they won't return before May since they want to stay back for voting," said Sameerbhai, a Powerloom unit owner in Udhna Industrial area of the city.

Sources said, already 20-30 per cent of labourers have left while more are expected to leave in the coming days. The labour shortage also comes at a time when the industry, which markets fabric as well as ready made garments including sarees and dress materials, is in the middle of heavy orders for the upcoming marriageseason. By the time of elections, industry players fear almost 50 per cent workers to be on leave. Apart from voting in elections, the workforce is also likely to extend their leaves for the wedding season which falls in the month of April-May in their respective home states.


 

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