Surat textile market urges govt to relax Covid norms to solve labour issues

Even though they have opened the shop but there is no usual business due to lack of labourers
The textile market in Surat is facing labour shortage as it re-opened in the first phase of unlock and businessmen have urged the state government to relax quarantine norms for labourers who want to return to the state. They have sought a scheme enabling them to work in a safe environment.

"The industry cannot function without labourers. They do not have money. If they are sent to 14-day home quarantine upon returning, they will face issues of money, accommodation and food," Dinesh Katariya, a textile businessman in Good Luck Market said while speaking to ANI.

As most of the labourers have returned to their villages owing to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, Katariya said businessmen engaged in textile market had written a letter to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani requesting him to give some relaxations to the labourers who want to return to the state but are feared of the 14-day quarantine period.

"So, we have written to Municipal Commissioner and State Government for a solution," he said.

"The government has decided to open the market. We urge them to provide some relaxation in the guideline for labourers and bring a scheme in wherein everyone stays safe and labourers are able to work," he added.

Lakhs of migrant labourers who come here for work are involved in stocking the sarees and dress materials in the godown and in loading the parcels which is sent to other states. They also work as salesmen in the shops.

Another businessman, Sunil Bafna said even though they have opened the shop but there is no usual business due to lack of labourers.

"Business is only possible when the labourers will get back to work. Without them the business is incomplete. Even, now we have opened the shop, but there is no business. We come, clean the dust of the shops and go back. We can not do anything without labourers," Sunil Bafna, a textile businessman told ANI.

"Labourers are not coming as they have to live in 14 days prescribed quarantine, and there is no system available to facilitate the quarantine of such people. As festivals are approaching, if the migrant comes back here, then there will be good business," he added.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its Unlock 1 guidelines has said that in urban areas (outside containment zone), all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open.

MHA has said that only a limited number of activities would remain prohibited throughout the country during #Unlock1, which came into effect from June 1 and will be effective till June 30.

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