coronavirus impact: Covid-19: Empowered groups taking steps for stranded labourers

NEW DELHI: With lakhs of migrant labourers stranded on roads, newly formed empowered groups of government officials are working on developing specific measures for them. ET gathers that the Empowered Group on Economic and Social Welfare, chaired by Department of Economic Affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty, has begun discussing the contours of a package, primarily for migrant labourers. As per a Covid-19 status report submitted by the Centre before the SC, the government roughly estimates that close to 5-6 lakh migrant workers are currently on the roads and travelling on foot between states amid the lockdown.

“Yes, migrants are being looked at closely. However, there are challenges as this is mostly an amorphous group unlike organised labour. We are considering various options to reach benefits and essentials to this unorganised group,” an official said.

The empowered group on supplies and logistics, headed by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation secretary Parameswaran Iyer, and the logistics committee set up last week are looking at options centred on the daily-wagers. The group on economic and social welfare also has on its plate the implementation of the economic package announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week. ET gathers that the group is working on expeditious implementation of this.

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