Cottage emporium employees worried
As the 50-odd employees at the Central Cottage Industries Emporium in Colaba go about their chores and overseeing the ongoing packing, they have other concerns on their mind.mumbai Updated: Jan 20, 2010 01:22 IST
As the 50-odd employees at the Central Cottage Industries Emporium in Colaba go about their chores and overseeing the ongoing packing, they have other concerns on their mind.
The emporium, which is moving out of the Narang House premises on January 31 after losing a 22 year-old legal battle against its eviction, has issued notices to its employees, stating that some of them may be transferred out of Mumbai.
The Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India (CCICI), which comes under the ministry of textiles, is planning to open two new outlets in malls in Vashi and Malad. But leaving the city’s tourist district could affect business, which was driven largely by foreign travelers.
“About 40 to 45 per cent of sales at the Colaba emporium are made by foreigners and NRIs. At the new location, it is apprehended that the sales by foreigners and NRIs will be substantially reduced. It is necessary to rationalise the expenses of the new show rooms,” an internal communication issued by the CCICI states.
Also, for most of the 40 years that it occupied the Narang House premises, CCICI paid a measly rent. In 2002, it paid an annual rent of Rs 3.34 lakh for the sprawling 14,000 sq ft premises.
“The government hasn’t done enough to look for a suitable alternate site,” said an employee requesting anonymity. “If sales dip at the new outlets, it will hit the craftsmen, who supply us goods, the hardest.”
“The government is not offering us voluntary retirement scheme. Transfers to Delhi, Kolkata or Chennai are only to harass us,” said another employee. CCICI’s additional general manager, S. Sharma, refused to comment.