The emotionally and financially drained hordes of migrants workers trudging to their hometowns in Uttar Pardesh (UP) and Bihar, have started showing their negative impact on Industry.
In Punjab, around 54 per cent industrial units resumed their operations after Punjab government announced relaxations. In Ludhiana, 46000 units started operations out of a total of 95000 registered units. Around 16000 units resumed operations in Jalandhar, 13000 in Amritsar and 11000 in Mohali. But the figures for small towns like Sangrur, Barnala, Mansa, Muktsar, Faridkot and others are more troubling as the number of operating industrial units is lower than in big cities.
Many industrialists have started blaming government authorities for allowing the exodus of migrant labourers from Punjab to their native places, but by blaming Punjab government, they have been trying to hide their fault as initially, Punjab government had asked industrialists to provide proper food and other facilities to their labourers to keep them in their industrial units. But citing huge financial losses due to lockdown after the spread of Covid-19, majority of industrialists had refused to provide financial help to their labourer and many had termed their idle labour as a huge financial burden for them. But surprisingly now the same industrialists are crying for labour and started requesting government authorities to make arrangements of labour for them.
Though the fiscal push of Central government to support Small and Medium industries has come as big help, but to win back the confidence of the workforce, the industrialists will have to take required steps. They can take the help of Punjab and central government, but industrialists will have to play main role as after their employers refused to provide them a proper meal after the start of lockdown, majority of labourers are feeling cheated.
The impact of lack of labour has started becoming visible on the first day of start of the industry, but to prevent the things from taking a worse turn, industrialists should take quick steps to prevent the more exodus of labour.