New Delhi: Various employers’ organizations on Friday told the government that the status of Migrant Labour is a matter of serious concern. They asked the government to formulate a programme for return of these migrant labour to work by providing counseling to alleviate their fears on Covid-19, providing financial help for their transportation, providing free groceries for about six months.
“Keeping in view the difficulties being faced by the industry and liquidity crisis, the wages paid by to the workers may be covered under expenses under CSR funds,” they said.
In course of a webinar with Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment, and other top ministry officials today, they further suggested creation of a databank of Migrant Labour, and creation of a national epidemic fund to help the workers of unorganized sector and daily wagers.
The issues deliberated during the Webinar included (i) Protection of the interest of Workers and Migrant Workers in view of COVID-19, (ii) Measures to generate Employment, (iii) Measures to be adopted for restarting economic activities and (iv) Measures to improve situation of MSME to enable them to discharge their liabilities under Labour Laws.
The other suggestions made during the webinar were as follows:
- Relaxation of the provisions of Industrial Disputes Act to treat the lockdown period as lay-off;
- To increase the maximum limit of 33% workforce to atleast 50% of the workforce after the reopening of the industry to allow increase of goods and services to optimum level;
- to waive the PMGKY’s condition of covering only those enterprises whose 90% or more employees were drawing monthly wages less than Rs 15,000 under the Scheme so that more workers can be covered under the scheme;
- To suspend the labour laws for the next 2-3 years except the provisions like minimum wages, bonus and statutory dues, to help industry to come out of the present crisis;
- To increase the working hours to 12 hours per day.
- To provide an appropriate package to the industries so that the business is sustainable and there is no loss of job opportunities.
- Power supply to the industry may be provided at subsidized rates.
- Reduce social security costs on both employees and employers.
- Instead of different zones like red, orange and green, there should only be zones viz. containment zone and non-containment zones to facilitate easy movement of workers and goods. Allow all activities in the non-containment zones.
The Minister in his address address informed about various measures taken by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment to mitigate the problems of workers during COVID-19 like relaxation in the provisions of ESIC and EPF, setting up of control centres/helplines across the country.
Gangwar said his Ministry was sympathetic to the requirements of the industry and would try to provide all possible help, for revival of industry and reopening of the economy. He also mentioned that the Ministry of Labour and Employment was consulting other concerned Ministries for resolving the issues faced by the Industry, particularly, MSME sector.
The government was of the view that the focus should now be on reviving the industry and opening of economy, to fully revive the economic activities and employment opportunities. The ministry assured that it was committed to provide all the help in case of any problems faced by the industry and also to protect the interests of the workers.[the_ad_placement id=”sidebar-feed”]