Niti Aayog constitutes sub-group to prepare a plan for migrant workers: Santosh Gangwar

The NITI Aayog has constituted a sub-group to prepare a National Action Plan for Migrant Workers, labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said.

“The sub-group, which comprises members from various ministries, experts, NGOs and civil society organisations, will prepare a tangible action plan to address issues related to migrant workers,” Gangwar said in response to a question in Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Central government had enacted the Inter-state Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979. This Act has now been subsumed in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 which has been notified in last September.

“The OSH Code provides for decent working conditions, minimum wages, grievances redressal mechanisms, protection from abuse and exploitation, enhancement of the skills and social security to all categories of organised and unorganised workers including migrant workers,” Gangwar said.

The Code is applicable to every establishment in which 10 or more inter-state migrant workers are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.

The nationwide lockdown imposed last year to prevent the spread of pandemic left millions of migrant workers in India without work. Consequently over 65 lakh of them moved back to their rural homes in the absence of work, food and shelter in industrial towns.

Further, the Labour Bureau under the ministry of Labour Bureau, will soon kick-start an All India Survey on Migrant workers. “An expert group has been constituted by the government of India to examine and finalize the schedules, sampling design and other technical details of the aforesaid survey,” minister Gangwar said.

Commenting on the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, minister Gangwar said the scheme will reduce the financial burden of the employers of various sectors or industries including MSME and will encourage them to hire more workers.

Under ABRY, the government of India is bearing both the employees’ share (12% of wages) and employers’ share (12% of wages) of contribution payable or only the employees’ share, depending on employment strength of the EPFO registered establishments.

The scheme has commenced from October 1 2020 and shall remain open for registration of eligible employers and new employees upto June 30, 2021 with the government paying subsidy for two years from the date of registration.

The scheme will cost the government Rs 22810 crore between 2020 and 2023.

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