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Covid-19 lockdown cuts Mumbai's JNPT labour supply 70pc

MOST dockers, factory hands and truckers servicing Mumbai's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) have left for their hometowns impacting the operations both at factories and in the port, reports New Delhi's Financial Express

14 June 2020 - 19:06

MOST dockers, factory hands and truckers servicing Mumbai's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) have left for their hometowns impacting the operations both at factories and in the port, reports New Delhi's Financial Express.

Exports from JNPT had increased to 67 per cent of the trend average by April-end, up from 45 per cent in March 2020. A labour shortage resulting from migrant labourers going back to their home states in May has adversely affected exports through JNPT, India's largest container port.



Exports from JNPT had increased to 67 per cent of the trend average by April-end, up from 45 per cent in March 2020. But exports fell in May as 70 per cent of contracted labour force disappeared, though JNPT maintained 95 per cent of its self-employed labour force at all its five terminals, a senior port official said.



Most of labourers including truck drivers contracted with JNPT and other labours with export houses have left for their hometowns impacting the operations both at the factories and at the port.



'The opportunity to go back for free, and safety of their families were such strong triggers that even attempts to pay double salaries have not worked. Exporters have been employing all tactics to save their labour force but they are not able to hold them back,' an Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (Apeda) official said.



The month of April saw increase in exports of potato, chilli, egg plant, yam, mix vegetables, lemon and ginger as per the data from National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO), through JNPT.



Said JNPT chairman Sanjay Sethi: 'We are expecting our lashing staff from Uttar Pradesh and other places to leave, but that has not happened. As far as drivers are concerned, many had left before the lockdown. So we have tried to get drivers from other parts of Maharashtra.'



Exporters are planning to increase mechanisation at the loading, unloading and at packaging level to counter the volatility in labour workforce.


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