Need to check migrant exodus: Industry

Need to check migrant exodus: Industry

Migrants board a bus near the Jalandhar bypass to reach Guru Nanak Stadium for medical screening. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Shivani Bhakoo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25

Local industrialists have requested Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Railway Minister Piyush Goel to stop free Shramik Special trains for migrants, citing industrial crisis in the event of acute labour shortage.

Worried about the continuous exodus of migrant labour, KK Seth, chairman of Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organisation (FICO), Gurmeet Singh Kular, its president, and others have stressed the need to prevent labour from fleeing the state.

“As we all look forward to easing of lockdown norms and reviving industrial and economic activities in the state, one of the fundamental challenges that is faced across the sectors is availability of labour. The industry as well as the agricultural sectors are heavily dependent on migrant labour,” said Seth.

The industrialists said the migration of labour had created serious issues for both the industry and agri sectors where the sowing of kharif crop is around the corner. Micro, small and medium units, which are labour-intensive ventures, can’t start operations in case there is no foreman or technician or machine operator even though labour is there, the industrialists said.

Rajiv Jain, general secretary of the organisation, said they understood that the state government had also arranged for dedicated buses and trains to ferry migrants back to their native states. “The Government of Punjab could offer that whosoever in the states where our trains and buses have reached is willing to travel back to Punjab, his expenses on bus or train fare would be taken care of by the state government,” said Jain.

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