The shortage of migrant labour in Punjab has dampened the Industrial production in the state. As a result, a number of companies especially in SMEs are unable to cope with the demand as their production took a nose dive and are further compelled to put their expansion plans on hold. Industrialists believe that the shortage of labour is upto the extent of 40 per cent in the state.
The Industries rely on migrant labours from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa etc. But in last few years apart from Industrial sector the primary sector which includes Agriculture and allied activities are grappling with labour shortage. But this year, Industralists believe the situation is very grim.
In an interaction with Business Standard, Rajhans International, managing director, Ashutosh Wadhwa informed, “ My order books are full and are planning to expand but can’t do, because of shortage of labour. I am also afraid whether I would be able to fulfill my export commitments. Further due to shortage of labour, I am focusing on fulfilling current export commitments rather than taking fresh orders.” Jalandhar-based Rajhanas International is 100 per cent export oriented unit and manufacturer of hardware goods, hand tools, garden tools etc. The company export hardware goods, hand tools to more than 15 countries.
“ This year we were expecting good for the sports Industry. We are labour Intensive industry and the shortage of labour is hitting sports Industry especially the inflatable ball Industry where the balls are stiched manually. To honour the export commitments will become very difficult for us in absence of labour shortage. Although Industries are also installing machines for stitching inflatable balls but the quality is not at par with hand stitched balls, “says Munish Chopra, Director, Jalandhar-based Chopra Synthetic Rubber Udyog. UK’s leading and the world’s largest supplier of rugby balls “ Webb Ellis” has signed agreement with his firm for supply of rugby balls. As a result of agreement, the company will supply a range of training rugby balls to Webb Ellis.
Experts believe that effective implementation of MNREGA in these states(Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa etc), ongoing real estate development and various road projects in these states has attracted local labour. As a result labours are hooked to their respective states, and are averse to come to Punjab.