Legislative council data shows that in 2020-21 approximately 800 factories had been shut down in Karnataka leading to the loss of 47000 jobs.
By Ekta Jha
Workers in the factories of the garment industry find it difficult to work due to lack of job security.
Rashmi Ramesh, a worker in a garment industry says, “We are doing the job, but we do not have any kind of security in that job. Earlier I used to work in the Kumbalgodu industry but due to COVID-19 the factory was shut-down and almost 1000 people lost their jobs.”
The State’s New Textile and Garment Policy aims to position Karnataka as a leading destination in the Textile and Apparel sector in the country. The Policy aims to generate five lakh new jobs in the next five years and attract investments worth Rs. 10,000 crores.
According to the reports, 562 small-scale industries were shut-down in 2020, followed by 192 in 2021. As a result, the small-scale industries’ contribution to the state’s economy reduced from 21 percent in 2019-20 to 19.4 percent in 2020-21.
Dr. K. Nirmala, Department of Commerce, Bangalore University says, “One of the reasons for the shutting down of the factories is COVID-19. We cannot expect exports when everything is closed. Also, there was less scope for connectivity.”
The Garment and Textile Workers Union says that the industry has used the pandemic as a reason for shutting down the factories.
Ratannama, from the Garment Textile Workers Union says, “ The closing down of the factories led many people to return to their native place after the layoffs. Garment industry is one of the most growing industries, and the government has not provided any facilities and incentives for the garment industry.”
Chandrashekhar M Secretary of Peenya industry association believes that industry should hire semi-skilled workers. “Also it will help the society and the laborers in attaining good skills that can contribute to the growth of the society at a macro level,” added the secretary.