Echoing concerns of the real estate industry, ports minister Michael Lobo urged chief minister Pramod Sawant to convince migrant labourers involved in construction work to stay back as their exodus could cripple economic activities.
Lobo along with members of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Credai) met the chief minister on Thursday in this regard. “If 50% of the labour force moves out of Goa, then all construction activities will come to a standstill,” he said.The minister also said that work on many houses is pending, while builders have to complete projects so that they can handover flats to customers.
“Construction activities have already been delayed due to Covid-19, and these have to restart now. For this, we need carpenters, masons, skilled and unskilled labour to be here to complete these works. We have requested Sawant to send a message to the labour force that the state wants them to stay in Goa and that the government is there to help them,” Lobo said.
Of the 3.5 lakh migrant workers in the state, nearly 80,000 have already registered themselves with the authorities seeking permission to return home.Lobo said that labourers working in shacks, hotels, restaurants, etc, have no option but to proceed to their native states due to unemployment.
“Out of 1 lakh labourers, if 20,000 of them leave then it will not have any impact, but if 70% of them decide to go then the state will come to a standstill and economic activities will grind to a halt,” he said. On Wednesday, Sawant said that the state requires manpower, and that the government is trying to convince the workers to stay back.