Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We turn now to the special problems presented by seasonal factories, i.e., those places, mainly employing power machinery, open for a part of the year only, and concerned for the most part with the handling of a particular crop as it becomes available. The statistics hitherto maintained in respect of factories have not distinguished between perennial factories and seasonal factories. We have made efforts to collect statistics but, owing partly to ambiguity in the definition of seasonal factories, it is impossible to give precise figures. The position, however, is fairly well indicated in the attached table for 1929, subject to the remarks appended.
|Industry.||Number of factories.||Number of operatives.|
|and pressing||2, 149||27||2, 176||136, 666||3, 321||139.987|
|Tea factories||934||934||63, 064||03, 064|
|Jute pressing||115||115||37, 300||. .||37, 300|
|Others||280||7||287||11, 368||276||11, 644|
|Total (A)||3, 478||34||3, 512||248, 398||3, 697||251, 995|
|Rice mills ..||998||008||1, 606||36, 529||39, 686||76, 214|
|Oil mills||219||25||244||• 10, 258||1, 237||11, 496|
|Our and Sugar factories||44||1||4S||14, 726||360||16, 076|
|Tobacco factories||16||,.||16||9, 922||9, 822|
|Others||238||17||285||21, 738||928||22, 064|
|Total (B) ..||1, 516||651||2, 166||93, 173||42, 198||135, 371|
|Total (A) and (B) ..||4, 993||685||5, 678||341, 571||45, 796||387, 366|
|Textiles.||466||3||458||696, 746||667||696, 412|
|Engineering and Metals||806||66||871||298, 068||19, 697||314, 666|
|Others ..||899||223||1, 122||122, 708||32, 018||184, 726|
|Total (C)||2, 180||291||2, 451||1, 113, 621||53, 282||1, 165, 803|
|Total (A), (B) and (C)||7, 163||976||8, 129||1, 468, 092||98, 077||1, 653, 169|
N.B.— "India " denotes British India excluding Burma.
We have divided all the factories into three classes. In the first class we have placed factories belonging to groups which are entirely, or almost entirely, seasonal. Thus all the cotton-ginning factories are strictly seasonal, and constitute much the most important group. The same is true of the great majority of jute presses And of nearly all the factories shown in this class under "others ". These include indigo, lac, coffee and rubber factories, factories engaged in ground-nut decorticating and one or two others. Of the tea factories. those in North India (constituting over 90 per cent. of the total number) are strictly seasonal; the South Indian factories work nearly all the year round. Some factories in this group, and especially many of the ground-nut decorticating factories in Madras, deal with more then one product at different seasons. In the second class we include factories falling in groups which are mainly seasonal, but which include a number of perennial factories. Some groups are mainly seasonal in one province and mainly perennial in another. The big group here is the rice mills, which vary from small mills working short seasons to large and virtually perennial factories. The group "others " includes flour mills, tile and brick factories, ice and aerated water factories and a few others. As a rule, the season tends to be longer in this than in the first class and may extend to the greater part of the year. The third class includes the essentially perennial factory industries. The precise number of seasonal factories thus depends on the definition of " seasonal", and even when a definition hat been adopted, exact figures cannot be given. We deal with the question of demarcation later, and can merely attempt a very rough estimate here. Taking as the definition of a " seasonal" factory one which normally works for not more than half the days of the year, we estimate that, of the 8, 000 odd factories at present registered, rather more than half are seasonal. On the same definition, possibly 300, 000 workers are engaged in the seasonal factories.