Govt plans to build dormitories near manufacturing clusters so workers don’t leave

  • The move focuses on textile parks, logistics and other manufacturing units.

Dhirendra Kumar
First Published28 May 2024
The key objective behind the initiative is to retain workers at manufacturing units for longer periods.
The key objective behind the initiative is to retain workers at manufacturing units for longer periods.

New Delhi: The government will ask states to establish dormitories for workers close to manufacturing clusters, specifically targeting textile parks, logistics and other manufacturing units, two people aware of the matter said.

The key objective behind the initiative is to retain workers at manufacturing units for longer periods, thereby maintaining steady production levels, the first person said.

This follows a 5% rise in jobs to 580 million in the financial year 2023 from a year ago, according to estimates being prepared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). India has added 110 million jobs over the last 5 years, starting from 470 million in 2017-18.

Consultation planned

A stakeholder consultation involving states and other partners is planned to develop a roadmap for this initiative. This consultation will take place after the new government is formed at the Centre.

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The agenda of the brainstorming session includes giving improved residential facilities, such as clean drinking water and toilets, to workers and supporting production.

Manufacturing firms to benefit

The key beneficiaries of the proposed plan will be the manufacturing firms in textiles, logistics, heavy industries, and others.

“The stakeholders will be asked to share their best practices in providing better living facilities for workers during the stakeholders' consultation," the second person said.

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"The government is actively promoting improved residential facilities for workers, encouraging states and industries to prioritize this aspect. Several states have already incorporated provisions for worker housing in their industrial policies," the above person said, adding that this initiative will ensure better job prospects for workers.

“Our goal is to raise awareness and foster collaboration between states and industries to enhance living conditions for workers across the country,” the person said.

“Labour is indeed a major challenge, and providing housing facilities in and around logistics centers can be a key strategy to attract workers to stay with companies for longer periods," said Ajay Rao, CEO of Emiza Inc- a leading warehousing company providing third-party logistics services.

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“Longer stays can lead to increased productivity, as workers become more familiar with their roles and surroundings. Conversely, high turnover rates can decrease productivity,” Rao said.

States to collaborate

States will collaborate with industries to create these facilities, utilizing financial assistance from the Centre's scheme to support construction efforts. Such housing facilities are indeed being planned in and around the seven mega PM-MITRA parks (PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel parks).

The PM-MITRA parks scheme is a flagship initiative of the textiles ministry, aiming to attract investments worth 95,000 crore.

This expected fund flow is projected to create about 2.25 million new job opportunities in the next 4-6 years. The ministry anticipates 25,000 crore in investments under the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) and an additional 70,000 crore investment under the PM-MITRA park scheme in the next 4-6 years.

Also read |  India’s labour-intensive manufacturing slump is no small worry

“Workers are the key drivers of the manufacturing sector, and their prolonged non-availability would impact production, ultimately creating an imbalance in industrial growth," said Abhash Kumar, assistant professor, economics, Delhi University.

Queries sent to spokespersons of ministries of textiles, labour and commerce remained unanswered till press time.  

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