The mass exodus of fear-gripped North Indian migrant workers from Gujarat, in the wake of threats and attacks, may create problems for the pharma industry.
Several incidents of violent attacks have been reported with troublemakers targeting migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Most of the incidents were reported in districts of Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Aravalli after the alleged rape of a 14-month-old child by a migrant worker.
The accused, a 19-year-old from Bihar, was arrested and lodged in Himmatnagar sub-jail in Gujarat.
The Gujarat government said it has beefed up security and ordered the arrest of miscreants responsible for attacks and rumour-mongering on social media.
The state police chief Shivanand Jha said the security of areas inhabited by non-Gujaratis, and the factories where they work has been increased. Hundreds of people were taken into custody and dozens of cases were also slapped against them.
Gujarat is the manufacturing hub for pharmaceuticals, housing over 3,300 manufacturing units, including some of the large drug makers such as Sun Pharma, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Cadila Healthcare and Intas, contributing around 28 percent of India’s pharmaceutical exports.
Pharma companies in Gujarat hire migrant workers from North India in large numbers through labour contractors on a temporary basis, especially for semi-skilled jobs like fitters, electricians, helpers, cleaners and security guards, among others.
Pharmaceuticals companies Moneycontrol spoke to said there isn’t any impact on production at their plants, as the unrest is confined to certain pockets of the state.
Ahmedabad-based Torrent Pharmaceuticals, one of India’s largest drugmaker said it’s business as usual at its plants in Gujarat.
One of the company’s large active pharmaceutical ingredient facility located in Indrad in Mehsana district.
The spokesperson said Gujarat has been always welcoming to migrant workers from across India. Some of them have been working here for 20-30 years. The current unrest is limited to certain rural pockets, and the government and police are taking action to bring things under control.
S Srinivasan, Managing Trustee of Locost said the migrant labour employed in the pharma industry is much lesser than other industries like diamond cutting and ceramic.
“There is no impact,” Srinivasan said.
Locost runs a manufacturing plant in Vadodara in Gujarat.
Another executive on condition of anonymity told that Gujarat has a reputation of the business-friendly state, it’s unfortunate that a case of crime has been turned into a local versus non-local issue for obvious political reasons.
“The state should punish people perpetrating this,” the executive added.LIVE NOW… Video series on How to Double Your Monthly Income… where Rahul Shah, Ex-Swiss Investment Banker and one of India’s leading experts on wealth building, reveals his secret strategies for the first time ever. Register here to watch it for FREE.
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