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UP seeks to gain from return of migrants

Lucknow: Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Uttar Pradesh are looking to gain from the return of labourers who had migrated to other states. Most of them see availability of labour that is more "culturally integrated" as an advantage to local industry.

Business people ETspoke with said for workers too it would be an advantage if they get work here, as they would be able to visit their homes more frequently. UP has the highest number of MSMEs in the country.

"One of the biggest problems that companies face is when workers from outside states go for festivals like Durga Puja and do not come back for days. If we have workers who are from UP, they will be more culturally integrated, which will solve the problem of an extended absence from work during such times," Indian Industries Association president Pankaj Kumar told ET.

The association that has around 8,000 MSMEs of UP as members is working with the state government to gauge the supply of skilled and unskilled workers who have returned and the demand from industries. Kumar said sectors like textiles could gain from the skill sets of people coming in from textile hubs like Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Also, engineering standards could get a lift with the reverse migration from Karnataka. Aaveg Garg, the managing director of Meerut-based spinning company DevShree Cotsyn, said he was already in touch with around 500 workers who had come from outside.

The idea is to employ more local workers who have the requisite skill sets. Even the workers will find it more appealing working in their home state as for the same wage, he added. "Also here, the owners mostly have a direct rapport with the employees and are able to understand their pain better," Garg said, while seeking guidelines from the local administration on facilitating the movement of these workers to the units that needed them.

Ravi Prakash Agarwal, who heads the UP Chamber of Commerce and owns a jewellery-making unit in Meerut, called the influx a "natural reshuffle" that occurs whenever there is a pandemic.
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