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Industries unable to pay but workers leaving will halt reopening: MSME

MSME sector throughout India is finding itself in a situation where neither they are able to pay workers and hold them  to restart the business nor workers are  now interested in staying back . The trust deficit between the two seems deepen.

 

 According to small industrialists in various states , since their economic wheel is totally at halt since march 25th and they operate on very thin margin with limited working capital, they can’t afford to bear salary expenses of their workers  when the operations are completely closed, though they wanted to pay and keep their workers with them but the situation is beyond our control.

 

In many states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashthra, Haryana, M.P. and UP more than 50 lakh workers have registered them for  going back to their homes. Apart from these registration figures, lakhs of workers are those who have left  by road on foot carrying terrible stories of pain and hunger with them and their numbers are no where registered. Total figure of registered and non registered might have crossed one crore, according to experts keeping an eye on the development and mass exodus of work force. This workforce were deployed in industries, infrastructure, real estate, projects and were also responsible for providing a life line to metro cities by serving elite class in hotel, tourism, domestic services, road side services etc.

 

Industries are well aware that once lock down is lifted, remaining workers will also go back and it will be beyond their control to hold them back. This is the biggest worry as to how to restart the business activities without workers.

 

 On the other side the workers who are leaving have their own mindset. They feel that they are left in lurch by their employers.  “There is no body to hold our hands in this crisis and provide us  shelter and food for livelihood.  They have not treated us well.” Said  many who have left the industrial towns and reached their homes.

 

 Next worry for industries is to arrange  for  required numbers of workers when restarting the operations, but now wages demand will be high as there will be a demand supply gap. Some industries in NCR and Gujrat are even mulling on offering attendance incentives and joining bonus to workers and their contractors. The workers who have stayed back are now set to  demand higher wages.