OUT OF 15 lakh registered workers in 2,52,741 factories across Punjab, 1,19,374 have been engaged in 3,648 operational units of the state, according to the department of industries. This accounts for 7.9 per cent of the total registered labour in factories.
A total of 3,648 units have opened in the state so far after seeking permissions offline and online. In addition to this, applications are coming in by the dozen at Ludhiana’s District Industry Centre (DIC) since Thursday morning, after the Punjab government removed the clause of seeking permission to open a unit and instead allowed opening of a unit after giving a simple undertaking that they will follow health protocols.
Mahesh Khanna, GM, DIC Ludhiana, said, “We are being flooded with applications since morning. As it is day one after relaxations, hundreds of them are sending us queries while 200 units at focal point (designated industrial area) alone have given undertakings. Many of them have been given a go ahead as well.”
Sources said nearly 1,500 units in designated areas of Ludhiana have given an undertaking after Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder’s speech on Wednesday and Thursday.
Pankaj Sharma, president of the Focal Point Industrial Association, said, “Of nearly 1,000 industrial units of Focal Point, nearly 300 have given undertakings to DIC to open their units. Earlier only the ones who were making PPE kits and masks were working, but I believe that now many are keen to open up. This will settle the labour, we will also make some income and of course state will get revenue.”
He further said that 30 per cent of the Focal Point units are keen to open up — which are 300 out of 1,000 who have given undertakings. He said, “We are hopeful that within a week 10 per cent of our designated industry will be working. Earlier just 0.94 per cent units of Ludhiana were operational.”
Many fastener units, forging units and exports units will be opening up. “We have purchased our own sanitising machines, labour colonies are also near our focal points. Many units will open up on May 1 after complete sanitization of their units, they are closed since March 22.”
Apart from this, even nearly 3.6 lakh workers are working in Punjab mandis as of now. Ravi Bhagat, secretary, Punjab Mandi Board (PMB), said, “Of these 3.6 lakh workers, nearly 3 lakh are migrant workers working as labour in mandis. But most of them have been staying in Punjab now for the past many years.”
Announcing relaxations, the Punjab government had said, “Now the industry does not have to take permission if they are located in rural areas, focal points, industrial estates, SEZs etc (designated places). They would only have to submit a self declaration stating that they would follow all SOPs of Punjab government with GM District Industry Centre (DIC). The industry would ensure that labour is quarantined within factory premises. If any transportation facility is being provided to them, they can get bus passes from GMDIC office. If any labour commutes by cycle or walking from nearby, they can get pass made from GMDIC. List of staff/labour can be submitted to GMDIC and he would issue bulk passes and one copy each can be distributed among the staff. But it would be valid only if it is supported by a valid identity card. The labour movement would be allowed only between 7 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 7 pm. Management/owners can also apply for e-pass with the GM, DIC, who has been authorised for issuing passes.”
District no of industrial units operational till April 30 workers working in units
Ludhiana 95202 1200 40435
Amritsar 20200 145 2760
Mohali 15564 192 5407
Jalandhar 14000 193 6000
Sangrur 13502 138 1486
Maximum workers working in functional units in districts
Total registered workers 15 lakh
Total units 25241
Units opened till April 30 3648 ( 1.4%)
Total workers 15 lakh
Workers working in units till April 30: 119374 ( 7.9%)