Coronavirus Maharashtra: State industries need around eight lakh workers

Siddeshwar Dukare
Friday, 8 May 2020

“As the situation in the State improves, more industrial units will resume functioning with their full capacity. The State government is committed to extending all necessary support to them. We have launched an online service for boosting industries’ resumption. A helpline has also been started. Interested companies can use the helpline.” – Subhash Desai, State Industries Minister.

Mumbai: Industries which had halted operations in the past one-and-a-half months during the lockdown are gradually re-opening. Around 30,000 units have got permission to restart operations. However, 12,000 of these have actually started operations.

These industrial units are now facing a shortage of workers. They need around eight lakh workers. However, merely two lakh are currently available. Statistics made available by the state industries department reveal that many job opportunities are available in the State.

Industries had come to a standstill following the lockdown. However, the state industries department, through the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), has allowed the units to re-open in the rural areas and to some extent in the urban areas, except the red zones.

A unit is permitted to resume work if its proprietors submit a self-certified application with details. Small and medium enterprises, big industries, manufacturing and ancillary units are being permitted to re-open.

The emergency and essential services and commodity producers such as agriculture and related businesses, food processing units and pharmaceutical companies continued operations during the lockdown.

However, other industries have gradually resumed their work. According to the state industries department, these industries need skilled and unskilled workers. However, local workers are not willing to rejoin work. 

Moreover, the labour force from other states is going back to their native place. Hence, these units are re-opening partially and not with their full capacity. This has affected their output.

There is also labour crunch in the state revenue divisions of Konkan, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Amravati. In Pune district, around 2.25 lakh workers are needed. However, only 20,000 are available. A similar scenario prevails in other districts of the State, stated the department.

According to the industries department, industries are allowed conditional resumption of work. All necessary measures should be taken to check the spread of the Coronavirus. Separate transport needs to be arranged for workers. Permission for the transport is to be taken from the industries department. Around 25,000 vehicles are needed to ferry workers, employees. However, only 14,000 vehicles are available.

Permission is not granted to resume industrial work in the red zones such as Mumbai, Panvel, Kalyan, Dombivali, Mira Bhayandar and Pune. Only units producing essential commodities are allowed to function. There will be a labour shortage in these areas, once they are permitted to re-open in future.


  • Opportunities in the COVID-19 calamity.
  • Production cannot resume with full capacity due to labour shortage.
  • Production cost will increase.
  • Transport and communication speed will slow down.

FACTFILE (figures till May 5)

  • Self-certified applications by industrial units to resume ops: 38,363
  • No. of units approved resumption: 31,164
  • No. of units resumed production: 12,336
  • Workforce needed for all units granted permission: 8,23,668
  • Available manpower: 1,91,336
  • Applications received for transport permission: 13,931
  • No. of passes granted to transport: 6,306
  • Vehicles needed to ferry workers: 25,622

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