The proposed cement grinding unit of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Cement company to be set up at Raghunathpur in Purulia district is offering only 41 direct and 1,000 indirect employments, which is a far cry from the budget proposal by the state government that talked of creating 16 lakh new job opportunities for the current year.
This was revealed by the project paper of the cement unit accessed by The Indian Express.
The company, to be set up on about 100 acres of land with an investment of Rs 600 crore, will have a capacity of 3 million tonne every year.
The budget presented by state finance minister Amit Mitra in the state Assembly this year stated that since 2013, 150 new industrial projects have been initiated or implemented. The investment stands at Rs 67,000 crore.
The proposal also says that the state government plans to generate 16 lakh new employment opportunities this year against 13,22,000 job opportunities that were created last year.
But labour leaders are questioning the state government on achieving such a goal if one huge investment project creates only 41 jobs.
“The problem with heavy industries is that it offers a small number of jobs. My question is, how can such industries solve employment problem of our state? It is quite frustrating. I believe we will have to focus on small and medium-scale industries,’’ Shovon Dev Chatterjee, president of Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC) told The Indian Express.
However few industrialists said the employment of a small number of people in a big industry is quite justified nowadays.
“In this era of advanced technology and professionalism, a very big workforce is not needed to run a big project. I believe if the Durgapur Steel Plant is re-built now, not more than 200 people will be needed. There are other sectors like IT where big employment can be generated,” industrialist Ashok Aikat told The Indian Express.
Echoing a similar opinion, Sanjay Budhia, another leading industrialist of Kolkata said job creation is not limited only to large-scale industries. “Heavy industries do not offer many direct employments these days. And when the state government talks of creating employment, it means employment in all sectors, including the agricultural one,” he said.