Centre reviews preparedness on migrant workers with State, UTs in view of Covid surge
Centre has held a meeting with States and UTs to review the status of preparedness in respect of migrant workers keeping in view the surge in COVID-19 cases. Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Sunil Barthwal chaired a Co-ordination Meeting with States and UTs through video conferencing yesterday. During the meeting, the states informed that barring night curfews and weekend curfews at few places, there are no restrictions on construction activities, business activities, running of shops and industrial activities in the country.
So far, there is no report of unusual movement of migrant workers at present owing to the limited restrictions imposed by the governments. Some media reports of mass exodus regarding movement of migrant workers to their home States were found to be untrue and it was also noticed that such reporting was based on old photographs. The ministry said, the business situation is normal throughout the country except 50 percent restrictions on workforce at some places. The Central as well as the State governments are keeping a close watch on the situation and are fully ready to tackle it.
Some state governments have already made plans for distributing dry rations to the needy labourers. Some have made preparations to provide financial assistance from the Building and Other Construction Workers cess fund and social security fund. Railways is also keeping a very close watch on the situation particularly at the major railway stations including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Secundrabad and is ready to provide special trains in case the situation demands. All the States and UTs have been advised to keep a close liaison with the local Railway Authorities.
In the meeting, State Labour Commissioners confirmed that the functioning at construction sites, factories and establishment has remained undisrupted and there is no exodus of workers, especially migrant workers, back to their home states. It was also pointed out by the Secretary, that over 21 crore unorganised workers have registered themselves on e-Shram Portal. All the State Governments were requested to put in place a mechanism to maintain a record of the migrant workers and register all the remaining workers who have not registered themselves on the e-Shram Portal as yet.