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Govt portal for stranded migrant workers soon

By Somesh Jha
April 27, 2020 11:38 IST
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The portal, which has been tentatively named by the labour and employment ministry as the National Portal for COVID-19 Affected Unorganised Migrant Workers, will gather the details of all the unorganised sector workers who are stranded in relief camps, residential or industrial clusters.

The Union government is going to launch an online portal for the migrant workers in the unorganised sector impacted due to a national lockdown imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 in India.

The portal, which has been tentatively named by the labour and employment ministry as the National Portal for COVID-19 Affected Unorganised Migrant Workers, will gather the details of all the unorganised sector workers who are stranded in relief camps, residential or industrial clusters.

 

“The portal will allow the government to pass on relief benefits to the migrant workers - be it in the form of cash transfers or through other means,” a top labour ministry official said, requesting anonymity.

The state governments have been asked to upload the details of all migrant workers, including their Aadhaar and bank accounts, on the portal.

The Union government has gathered the details of 2.2 million migrant workers across the country from the states, labour secretary Heera Lal Samariya told industry executives in a recent interaction.

The portal will assign a registration number to all the workers and map migratory patterns, by capturing the details of their native place.

It will also feed key details of such workers: date of leaving the workplace, reason for the migration and the COVID-19 infection status.

“Workers will also be able to register themselves on the portal. We do not want to leave out any worker from this process,” the official, cited above, said.

The official added the industry would be allowed to put details of such workers on the portal, too.

For each industry, the government is attempting to do a skill mapping of the employees residing in red, orange, and green zones through the portal.

“This will help the industry get a sense of the proximity of workers to an industrial zone,” the official said.

The central government has allowed resumptions of economic activities beginning April 20 in rural areas and industrial zones where the incidence of COVID-19 infections is low.

It has also allowed the migrant workers stranded in relief camps to go to work within the states.

The workers will be screened first before allowing them to travel to work.

Many state governments such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, and Haryana are planning to bring workers belonging to their states back to their homes.

Days after the lockdown was enforced on March 25, around 500,000-600,000 migrant workers were estimated to have walked back home, according to official figures.

Shelter homes were set up to accommodate them to ensure that they do not leave.

There are around 1.04 million workers residing in 26,476 relief camps, the Central government has told the Supreme Court recently.

Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

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Somesh Jha in New Delhi
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