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Workers returning but normalcy to take months, say industry bodies in Gurgaon

“The labour situation has improved a little bit. We expect the numbers to pick up in the first week of August, when Eid, Raksha Bandhan and other festivals are over,” said Animesh Saxena, CEO of Neetee Apparel LLP and president of Udyog Vihar Industrial Association.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Gurgaon | July 19, 2020 5:02:08 am
Migrant workers, coronavirus lokdown, Covid cases, Gurgaon news, indian express news Workers are also wary of another lockdown.

Almost two months after industries in Gurgaon were permitted to resume operations with 100 per cent staff, officials from various industrial associations say that although there has been a marginal improvement in business and availability of labour, it will take “at least 2-3 months” for the situation to become normal.

“The labour situation has improved a little bit. We expect the numbers to pick up in the first week of August, when Eid, Raksha Bandhan and other festivals are over,” said Animesh Saxena, CEO of Neetee Apparel LLP and president of Udyog Vihar Industrial Association.

“The lockdown in Bihar has also stopped workers, because of which people who were planning to return have cancelled their tickets,” he said.

Manmohan Gaind, vice-president of Manesar Industries Welfare Association said the lack of transportation is also a hindrance, with Metro and bus services yet to resume and interstate trains not operational. “Rumours of another lockdown are a factor. People from villages fear that if they come here they will be stuck again,” he said.

The recent ordinance proposed by the Haryana government, cleared by the cabinet earlier this month, proposing reservation of 75 per cent in jobs in private sector for local candidates, has further complicated the situation, said Gaind. “The workers are very concerned. They are saying they will not get jobs even if they return.”

“In Manesar, the industry is in panic mode over the 75 per cent rule because locals lack the skill set needed for the job…,” he said.

Officials from industrial associations do, however, say that the number of orders is picking up. In the automobile sector, Deepak Maini, General Secretary of the Haryana Chapter of Federation of Indian Industry, said, “Those involved in manufacturing two-wheelers and small cars that cost upto Rs 2-3 lakh or related parts do have orders, but four-wheelers or their parts and the garment sector have fewer orders.”

“One of the reasons for this could be that the effect of the lockdown and coronavirus has been comparatively less in rural areas, and the economy has improved by 3 to 5 per cent in these areas,” he said.

Saxena also said that business in the garment sector is anticipated to pick up from October.

“Demand in the garment industry is cyclic, so a lean season starts kicking in from August itself. Most companies will finish their exports by July and August-September will be lean. New business may come in during this period but actual production starts from October,” said Saxena.

“The situation is improving slowly, but it will take another 2-3 months,” said Maini.

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