Industry laying off employees in Punjab, says Amarinder

Chandigarh, Nov 23 (IANS) Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India” campaign, Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh said on Wednesday that while the Prime Minister was pitching for more jobs, the demonetisation move was resulting in employees and workers being laid off by the industry in Punjab.

Expressing concern at the “large-scale retrenchment of labourers and other daily wagers by cash-crunched industries across Punjab in the wake of demonetisation”, Amarinder said people were being laid off by industry in the textile, hosiery, sports goods manufacturing and other sectors.

“From Ludhiana’s hosiery industry to textile industry in Amritsar and the sports industry in Jalandhar, all businesses in the state are on the brink of ruin as a result of the ill-conceived demonetisation move of the Modi government,” Amarinder said in a statement here, adding that Punjab was being plunged into industrial backwardness.

“With no cash to pay the daily workers, they had no option but to lay off thousands of them, adversely impacting their own businesses,” the former Chief Minister said, quoting his discussions with industry captains in the state.

Amarinder Singh said that many of these laid-off workers were leaving Punjab and going back to their native places in search of alternative sources of income.

“The very survival of these workers and their families is at stake,” he said.

“While in small-scale industries, up to 80 per cent such job losses were reported, bigger industries had sacked up to 10 per cent of their employees due to their inability to pay them their daily wages in cash,” he pointed out.

Paying them through cheque or direct transfer to bank accounts was also not an option in such cases as most of these employees had no bank accounts or ATM cards, he said.