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Bengal govt meets industry reps, jute sector seeks ease in 30% workforce rule

Bengal govt meets industry reps, jute sector seeks ease in 30% workforce rule

Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Monday held a meeting with representatives of various industries and urged them to adhere to the COVID restrictions and guidelines, besides discussing the issues faced by the different sectors.

The jute industry demanded a modification in the guidelines that allow operations with a maximum of 30 per cent of the workforce in a shift.

A representative of the industry said that it has made their operations unviable.

The other sectors have been allowed to operate with a maximum of 50 per cent of their workforce.

"The jute sector has requested for a relaxation in the 30 per cent workforce criteria, stating that it will be a major blow to them. The tea industry pointed out that the 50 per cent workforce norm should be reviewed later, if not now.

Other industries have assured to follow the existing guidelines," a Labour Department official told PTI.

"The state government has decided to form district- level committees to monitor the adherence, and also an e- platform for reporting by the industry will be in place," he said.

The virtual meeting was chaired by Labour Secretary Barun Kumar Ray. Around 90 participants joined the meeting and it was fruitful, the official said.

The Indian Jute Mills Association has also written to the Chief Secretary over the maximum limit of 30 per cent workforce in a shift.

"Restricting employment in Jute Mills to only 30 per cent is bound to create resentment amongst the general body of workmen," it said.

IJMA said that operating at these levels will make mills unviable and more mills will close down. Already, nine mills have shut down.

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