Migrant crisis: House panel on labour to meet today on workers issues

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August 7, 2020 4:50 AM

The rural development ministry is likely to update the committee on the jobs created for migrant workers under the MG-NREGS and Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan schemes; the urban development ministry on the rented housing scheme meant for migrant workers in urban areas.

The government had launched a Rs 50,000-crore rural-centric Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan for boosting ready and remunerative livelihood opportunities for returnee migrant workers in 116 districts.

Parliamentary standing committee on labour will meet senior officials of four different ministries on Friday to comprehend the progress already made and understand the road map of the schemes earmarked for returnee migrant and unogansied workers as part of the government’s overall Rs 20-lakh-crore economic package to mitigate the Covid-19 impact.

As part of the package, the government had announced various plans and programmes for the unorgansied and migrant workers aimed at providing them with livelihood opportunity, with free food and food grains, and with affordable rental housing schemes, among others. Health workers were proposed to be provided with health insurance scheme, states were asked to provide cash benefit to building and construction workers and wage rates under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MG-NREGS) were increased by Rs 20/day, among others.

The government had launched a Rs 50,000-crore rural-centric Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan for boosting ready and remunerative livelihood opportunities for returnee migrant workers in 116 districts. Allocation under MG-NREGS was increased by Rs 40,000 crore over and above the Rs 61,500 crore budgetary allocations, mainly aimed at creating job opportunities for such workers.

The government also earmarked Rs 3,500 crore for providing migrant returning workers who don’t have ration cards with free food grain. A scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana was also launched to provide migrant workers with affordable rental housing in urban areas.

“There will be a full committee meeting tomorrow (Friday) to understand the progress of the schemes for migrant and unorganised workers. We will also try to understand the road map of different ministries on plans to execute the programmes. We have called the ministry of rural development, urban development, health and food and consumer affairs to give us their presentations,” committee chairman Bhartruhari Mahtab said.

The rural development ministry is likely to update the committee on the jobs created for migrant workers under the MG-NREGS and Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan schemes; the urban development ministry on the rented housing scheme meant for migrant workers in urban areas.

“The committee would like to know how they plan to fund and implement the rental housing scheme which is intended at mitigating the problem faced by migrant workers while they go out for work away from their native places,” Mahtab said.

Similarly, the food and consumer affairs ministry will be asked to give detail of the progress made on the “one nation, one ration card” plan, which will help migrant workers to access public distribution system (PDS) from any fair price shop in the country. Migrant families are not able to access food in other states now.

The health ministry will be asked to give details of the insurance scheme announced in the package for health workers such as safai karmacharis, ward-boys, ASHA workers and others.

The committee is also expected to ask from different ministries the response and co-operation rendered by the states in implementing the schemes. It is likely to submit a report to Parliament by the end of the month.

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