More than 18 textile processing mills and many powerloom factories in the city that reopened after lockdown restrictions were shut down last week due to labour shortage. Payment delay across the textile business chain is also a big issue for the industry.
Majority of the labourers in textile industry are from Orissa, Up and Bihar. Over 10 lakh migrant labourers working with textile industries returned to their native places during the lockdown imposed in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first half of the year 2020 was completely remained disappointing for the textile industry of Surat. Labour shortage, payment delay, liquidity crisis are major concern for the industry now a days. The textile mill owners and weavers are struggling to restart after the exodus of workers during the lockdown.
There are around 330 textile processing mill in the city. All the mills were remained closed during lockdown. Around 50 mills re-opened in Unlock-1, many are facing a shortage of labour. Less than a third of the workers are present in the unit. Many mills are operating on 25 per cent capacity.
After getting the approval from the government, during Unlock-1, many powerloom weavers has re-openedthe factories. Around 20 per cent of the factories began operations with whatever labourers they were left with. Because of labour shortage, the factories were running in one shift only. The availability of workers in the unit is only 15 to 20 per cent.
During the first two weeks of June, more workers have migrated to their state. The remaining workers are now demanding more wages to operate the factory for few hours. The factory operators says that with the increased power tariff, worker’s wages and less demand of gray fabrics it does not seem appropriate to keep the factory operational. The unit owners in Laskana, Diamond Nagar, Pipodara industrial area have closed the factories.
The units in the Surat textile industry are troubled by rising wages and labour shortage. In a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, the textile association has urged the government to relax quarantine norms for laborers who wish to return to the state.
Today’s concerns of Surat textile industry :
— Labour shortage
— Arrangement of cash payment for the workers
— Less credit period for chemical and other raw materials
— Govt. liability and loan re-payment
— Decrease in demand of grey fabrics and reduced job-work
— High production cost
— Delayed payments from traders
— Liquidity crisis