UP CM moots two-pronged strategy for migrant workers

LUCKNOW, May 25: In a two-pronged strategy, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to set up a migration commission to help find jobs for workers returning home and also said that any state that wants labourers from UP has to seek its permission.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Information) Awanish Awasthi announced the plan to set up a migrants commission on Sunday.

On the same day, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interaction with RSS-affiliated publications ‘Panchjanya’ and ‘Organiser’ that other states will need permission from the UP government if they want to make use of labourers from Uttar Pradesh.

About 25 lakh migrants, workers and their families, have returned to Uttar Pradesh after being stranded for weeks in other states due to the lockdown imposed to fight coronavirus.

At a meeting with senior officials on Monday, Adityanath reiterated that his government was committed to a safe and respectable homecoming for the workers and to providing them with jobs and social security.

He said this was the reason for the decision on a separate commission for them and told officials to take prompt steps for setting it up.

Adityanath has earlier told officials to work on insurance and job security for returning workers, according to government statements.

The planned commission will look into workers’ rights, prevent their exploitation and provide an official framework to ensure socio-economic and legal support for them, the government said.

“Insurance, social security, re-employment assistance, provision for unemployment allowance are some of the factors that will be looked into by the commission,” the CM said.

Adityanath had claimed that UP’s workers were “not properly taken care of” by various states during the coronavirus lockdown.

“These workers are our biggest resource and we will give them employment in Uttar Pradesh as the state government is going to set up a panel for their employment,” he recently said.

“They are our people… And if some states want them back, they have to seek permission from the state government,” he said in the interaction with RSS-affiliated publications.

According to an official spokesperson, the Adityanath government will make manpower available to other states only on a guarantee of job security.

The state government said skill mapping of about 14.75 migrant workers has already been done.

Of them, 1.51 lakh were employed in the real estate sector, a government spokesman said.

The skill mapping exercise also found that a large number of them worked as furniture makers, building decorators, security guards, IT and electronic technicians, home appliance and automobile technicians, paramedics, pharmaceutical workers, tailors, beauticians and carpet makers, he said.

The state government will offer training, along with an allowance, to migrant workers once the skill mapping is over, he added.

“All migrant workers are being registered and their skills mapped. Any state or entity interested in inviting migrant workers will need to assure and provide for their socio-legal-monetary rights,” Adityanath said.

During the lockdown review meeting on Monday, the CM said there are employment opportunities for the workers in the MSME sector, and under the “one district- one product” and “Vishwakarma Shram Samman” schemes.

There were also opportunities in the agriculture and animal husbandry sectors, he said.

The chief minister also called for building houses for workers with the help of the economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wherever necessary dormitories should be built for them, he said. (PTI)