The slowdown in industrial production owing to the third wave of the Covid19 pandemic is going to result in a job loss for millions. According to reports, the industrialists are planning to cut down jobs by 15-20% after Eid-ul-Fitr.
The industrial sector of Pakistan is responsible for providing job opportunities to around 21% of the total labour force and the estimated number of lay-offs means that millions of industrial sector employees would be left jobless after Eid.
Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) former president Majyd Aziz said that they initially estimated 15-20% layoffs after Eid, however, the actual number of layoffs may be much higher than the initial estimates.
He further said that 99% of textile processing industries in SITE industrial area (of Karachi) have cut down their production time to 12 hours a day compared to 24 hours a day a few months ago.
Earlier, Pakistan’s textile factories operated at 100% or full capacity for a few months after earning a high number of export order from firms around the globe due to the low infection rate in Pakistan compared to other countries.
“Industrialists were bullish during October 2020 to January 2021 (when Pakistan received huge amount of textile export orders),” he said.
However, the business confidence has been on the decline since then and this has resulted in job losses in Pakistan. The factories would remain closed for 10 days due to Eid and due to this industrialist may face shortage of money and won’t be able to pay salaries to their workers, said Aziz.
Former finance minister Miftah Ismail criticized the current government saying that three million people have lost jobs and around 10 million more people have fallen below the poverty line in Pakistan during the pandemic.
He said that PML-N has left the economy in a stable condition, however, PTI turned it upside down as soon as it came into power.
In the Economic Survey of 2020, the government reported that according to preliminary estimates conducted by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), the Covid-19 pandemic can have a negative impact on employment in the country in the last quarter of 2019-20 and can lead to job losses.
Initial estimates show that in case of limited restrictions, about 1.4 million jobs will be lost, which are equal to 2.2% of the employed workforce, the report further stated.
The sixth edition of the International Labour Organisation monitor titled Covid-19 and World of Work revealed that as widespread and severe labour market disruptions have continued, the global working-hour losses are projected 8.6pc instead of 4.9pc projected earlier in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year, which corresponds to 245m full-time equivalent jobs.