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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.56 (2) (Mar - Apr, 2015) (355-360)

SOCIO ECONOMIC PROFILE OF WORKERS IN KNITWEAR INDUSTRY: A LUDHIANA PERSPECTIVE

Prerna Sharma*, Harinder Saggu** and Kanwaljit Brar ***
*Teaching Assistant, **Senior Extension Specialist and ***Professor
College of Home Science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana

Abstract

India is one of the few countries that own the entire supply chain in textiles in pretty close proximity, right from a diverse range of fibres to a large market. It iscapable of delivering packaged products to customers comprisinga variety of fibres, diverse count sizes , cloth of different weight and weave as well asa large number offinishes.The advantage is further accentuated by the low labour cost giving a cost based advantage to this highly labor intensive industry. The knitwear industry of Ludhiana has the potential to provide employment to approximately 4 lakh workers as skilled or unskilled workforce. Majority of the employed workers are migrant workers from the neighbouring states and engages in cyclic employment. The industry is facing a deficit of almost 1.5 to 2 lakh workers in skilled worker category. The general aim of the present paper is to explore the social , economic and work conditions of these workers and the challenges faced by themin knitwear industry. The study is based on primary data collected from the industry through questionnaire method from an equalrepresentation of male and femalerespondents selected through random sampling technique during December 2012. The data has been analyzed through simple percentage method, bar diagrams and pie charts. The facilities provided to the workersby the industry to overcome the various challenges faced by them in the knitwear industry of Ludhiana are also analyzed.

Introduction

The Indian textile industry constitutes 14% to industrial production, 4% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 17% to the country‘s export earnings, according to the Annual Report (2009-10), Ministry of Textiles. Knitwear industry contributes almost 17% of the textile productioninthecountry. Knitwear, a highly diversified industry, centers around five major manufacturing centers viz Ludhiana in Punjab, Tirupur in Tamilnadu, National Capital region of Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida , Bangalore and Mumbai. The knitwear sector in Ludhiana is the region’s largest employer with an employment opportunity for more than 4lakh people working in this sector .The city produces almost 90 % of the country’s woollen requirement and 33 % of knitted apparel requirement. The increased cost based competition from other countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam and China along with high borrowing and input costs are major threats that the sector is currently facing.To be globally competitive, the industry is being forced to improve its cost efficiencies. The sector is highly labour intensive but is dealing with a serious crunch of skilled labour which is affecting the productivity of the industry.

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