Migrant workers and their family members queue up outside a railway station to board a Bihar-bound Shramik Express train, in Faridabad on May 15, 2020. (AFP)
Santosh Gangwar also told the House that around one crore migrant workers returned to their native places during the lockdown.
The government is collecting information on suicide of migrant workers from states during the Covid-19 pandemic, Parliament was informed on Saturday. ”Information on suicides of migrant workers is being collected from State Governments,” Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said in written reply to Lok Sabha. The minister was replying to a question asked by DMK leader Kanimozhi Karunanidhi.
Gangwar also told the House that around one crore migrant workers returned to their native places during the lockdown. Besides, the minister said in order to redress the grievances of migrant workers during lockdown, the labour ministry set up 20 control rooms all over the country. During lockdown, more than 15,000 complaints were resolved through these control rooms, and due to the intervention of the ministry more than two lakh workers were paid their due wages amounting to about Rs 295 crore, he said. It has been decided to extend the scheme of Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation(ESIC) for another one year from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, he said.
It has also been decided to enhance the rate of unemployment relief under the scheme to 50 per cent of wages from the earlier rate of 25 per cent along with relaxation of eligibility conditions for insured workers who have lost their employment due to the pandemic and lockdown, the minister added. ESIC provides relief in the form of cash compensation for up to 90 days to the Insured Persons (IPs) who become unemployed, under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana.
In a separate reply to the House the minister said ”The government envisages creation of National Database for Unorganised Workers (NDUW). This database shall be seeded with Aadhaar and used for facilitating delivery of social security schemes implemented by the government.” At present, unorganised workers are registered under different social security schemes to avail the benefits under the schemes.