Even as the Haryana government allowed industrial units in the state to operate with 100% workforce, prominent plywood manufactures in Yamunanagar are still bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 lockdown as migrant labourers have left for their home states and the demand from bigger buyers is bleak.
More than one lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with the plywood industries in the district.
President of Haryana Plywood Industries Association, Jugal Kishore Bhiani, said, “Most of our labourers were migrants from UP, Bihar, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Now, most of them have gone back to their homes. Currently, most industries in Yamunanagar are working with 15% to 20% workforce. We cannot hire local labour due to finance and skill factors,” he said.
“Also, the supply line of our finished products is still bleak as most buyers are from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi, which are most affected due to coronavirus. At present, the demand is only from small buyers in Haryana, Punjab or Rajasthan,” Bhiani said.
“The Haryana government is also yet to take the cue of our earlier demands on refund of license fees deposited with them. It can act as an economic booster for us,” he added.
The All India Plywood Manufacturing Association under president Devendra Chawla had raised the issue of refund, after a meeting with officials of the state government last month. Cabinet minister Kanwar Pal, who is an MLA from Jagadhari constituency, had said, “The state government had decided to do away with charging this fee and refund the amount to industrialists. The matter is under process.”