Disrupted supply chain, labour shortage major challenges for industries
Even a week after the state government granted permission to resume work, industries across Gurugram continue to face a number of challenges, including a disrupted supply chain, shortage of manpower and strict Covid-19 guidelines. The permission to resume operations was granted following a notification issued by the ministry of home affairs (MHA), relaxing lockdown regulations for industries.
More than 300 industries in the district that received permission to resume operations last week haven’t been able to start production yet. Suman Chawla, an industry owner, said, “We are allowed to work with 25% workers. Some of our senior employees reside in Delhi, Faridabad and Noida. They are unable to reach office. We are into leather business and mainly export to foreign countries. Although we got permission to resume work on April 22, our company has not been able to start production as there are no raw materials, few available workers and senior staff members, and disruptions in the supply chain. Our last production day was March 21. Our losses are in crores. I believe that it may take several months for our production to get normal,” said Chawla.
Due to continued labour problems, a looming fear of Covid-19 transmission and MHA’s strict guidelines, some of the industry owners are mulling to shut their plants again indefinitely.
Kusum Danglay, another industry owner in packaging production at Manesar, said, “We are unable to run the plant in such a difficult condition. Workers are eager to leave the city for their respective states and we cannot retain them in the current scenario. With only a handful of workers available, we are just cleaning our tools and machines, disinfecting the plant, carrying out thermal screening etc. And we believe that such a critical situation will last for many months. We may have to shut our plant after May 3 if the situation does not improve.”
An industry owner in Sector 37 said that nuts and bolts and other parts to repair machines are also not available because hardware shops and auto markets are shut.
“I am in the packaging business and have a small plant. We have been allowed to resume operations with 10 workers, of which three are engaged in implementing the standard operating procedure (SOP), like disinfecting the plant, manning entry gates etc. I have not been able to carry out any production at all since April 22,” said Rakesh Vohra, an industry owner, adding that he is unable to pay wages to his workers.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited had also said last week that they would only carry out maintenance in their Manesar plant while the production was still on hold. “Maruti Suzuki India Limited got permission a week ago but production has not yet started,” said a senior executive of the company.
Many industries, which are still shut, are unwilling to even apply for permission.Sanjiv Bansal, a Basai-based industry owner, said, “I will start operations only when the situation becomes normal, workers are willing to rejoin work, markets are open and the supply chain is restored. I cannot take risk when Gurugram has still Covid-19 cases coming up.”