Exporters can assure 300 days of employment in a year to those being employed for minimum of 100 days under the Government’s flagship NREG scheme, the head of apex export body FIEO said on Wednesday.

“The National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme (NREGS) should be extended to the export sector. We will pay more and guarantee 300 days of employment,” President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) A. Sakthivel told PTI.

FIEO chief said the highly employment-oriented exporting sectors like leather, handicrafts and leather can impart the basic training to labourers.

The exporters’ body will take up the issue with the government, he said.

With exports becoming positive since November 2009, exporters’ manpower requirements are slowly improving. Enough labour for the low-end jobs is not available.

“We don’t get workers because of NREG scheme,” he said.

Sakthivel said the NREG scheme is costing the exchequer a huge Rs 40,100 crore but “it is making them (labour) lazy ... they do not get training“.

Sakthivel said the government is not giving enough priority to exporters and the funds provided to the Commerce Ministry for promotion of different schemes and incentives is minuscule.

The funds allocated under the Market Access Initiative (MAI) have been pegged at Rs 125 crore.

However, this is not enough to incentivise exporters, he added.

India’s exports in the current fiscal ending March may be $ 160-165 billion against $ 185 billion in the wake of global demand slump.

Keywords: NREGSFIEOexport sector

More In: National | News | Business | Economy