The Union government told the Parliament on Monday that there is no data available on number of death and job losses of migrant workers Credit: Representational Image

New Delhi: The Union government told the Parliament on Monday that there is no data available on number of death and job losses of migrant workers due to the 68-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The Union ministry of labour and employment informed in a written reply to the Parliament to a query raised on the first day of the monsoon session on the state-wise details of the death toll of the migrant workers who lost their live trying to return to their native places after they lost their jobs because of the state imposed lockdown. It was further asked questioned whether any compensation or financial aid was granted to the victims’ families by the government.

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The government was also questioned about its failure to assess the problems of migrant workers during the lockdown. To which the government replied, “India, as a nation, has responded through the central government, state governments, local bodies, self-help groups (SHGs), resident welfare associations (RWAs), medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as large number of genuine and bonafide nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) in the nation’s fight against the unprecedented human crisis due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and country-wide lockdown.”

The BJP ruled central government was also asked for details about the free ration distribution scheme during the lockdown. The government responded by saying, “State-wise details are not available. However, 80 crore people are being provided additional 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses, free of cost every month till November 2020 to empower millions of migrant workers/labourers working in various organized and unorganised sectors to seamlessly receive their food security entitlements under National Food Security Act (NFSA), irrespective of their physical location.”

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“The states and union territories (UTs) have been advised to take adequate steps to streamline the migration of the workers to mitigate the hardships of migrant workers returning to the destination States/UTs,” the ministry told the lower house in the Parliament.

“The states/UTs have been advised to implement the advisory guidelines by quickly gearing up their labour Law enforcement machinery and ensuring statutory compliance by all the stakeholders which could provide migrant workers much needed help to mitigate the financial crisis and empower them to deal with the pandemic. The states/UTs have also been advised to maintain updated data of the migrant workers to facilitate the administration to extend benefits of the welfare schemes of the government to the migrant workers,” it added.

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