Justifying the "unprecedented steps" taken by the Union government, Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar on Wednesday said the steps are for labour welfare and employment including for migrant workers across India amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus outbreak has created an adverse impact on the workforce in general and especially the migrant labourers. A large number of migrant workers returned to their native states when the state borders were opened.
Notably, the Ministry of Labour and Employment had also issued advisory guidelines to all the state governments/UTs on July 27, 2020. Gangwar further informed that after the lockdown, directions were sent from the Ministry of Labour and Employment to all the state governments/Union territories instructing them to provide financial assistance to construction workers from 'Building and Other Construction Workers' Cess Fund.
"Labour is in the concurrent list and therefore, both State and Central Governments can legislate on the issues. Further, most of the Central Labour Acts including the Migrant Labour Act is being implemented exclusively by the state government," he said to news agency ANI.
"Till date, about 2 crore migrant workers have been provided Rs 5,000 crores directly in their bank accounts from Building and other Construction Workers' Cess Fund being maintained by various states. In order to resolve the grievances of migrant workers during lockdown, the Ministry of Labour and Employment had set up 20 Control Rooms all over the country," the Union Minister added.
Earlier on Friday, Gangwar had said the government is working on creating a database of migrant labourers so that they get the direct benefit of various welfare schemes. The Minister of State for Labour and Employment said an accurate database is crucial for the formulation of any policy.
"We always talk about estimated figures about them (labourers). But today the need is to create such a database about migrant labourers so that they can get direct benefit of various welfare schemes," Gangwar said.
Their skill mapping has to be done, we are concerned about this, we want that they should get jobs as per their skills,he said.
(With ANI Inputs)