Yogi Adityanath announces relief measures for UP’s daily wage earners

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has announced a slew of relief measures for the state’s daily wage earners including construction workers and self employed cart owners, rickshaw pullers as well pension earners to tide over the period of shutdown and uncertainty amid the corona virus scare.

In a press conference early on Saturday, the UP CM said a sum of Rs 1,000 would be provided to each of the 20.37 lakh construction workers registered with the labour department and to each of the 15 lakh self employed cart owners, small shop owners and rickshaw pullers on an immediate basis. The amount, funded by the labour cess , will be transferred to their accounts through the system of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

Additionally, families of 1.65 crore Antyodaya workers, workers bearing MGNREGA cards as well as construction workers and small wage earners will be given one month stock of foodgrains for free by the state government, the UP CM said. The foodgrain stock to be provided by about 80,000 Public Distribution System (PDS) stores will include 20 kg wheat and 15 kg rice.

Besides, more than 83 lakh old age, disabled, as well as widow pension earners under different schemes will be paid their pension amounts for both April and May in April itself, Adityanath has directed.

“Apart from all these directives, if there is anyone in either rural or urban areas who does not fall under the state schemes and whose livelihood has been affected, then in rural areas a committee of gram panchayats and BDO along with the SDM and in urban areas, a committee of administrative officers, local city magistrates along with the SDMs will inform the DM and such people will also be disbursed the Rs 1000 amount out of the relief fund,” he said.

All pending dues of MGNREGA workers should be cleared by end of March, Adityanath said, also calling for immediate measures to get ration cards made for all these daily wage earners and small shop/cart owners if they already do not own one.

Uttar Pradesh has been one of the states in the country that has witnessed a steady rise in the number of positive cases of corona virus in the last few days. As of latest figures , 23 people have been found to be infected with the virus. This has led the administration to call for all schools, colleges, educational institutions, gyms, parlours, and other such institutions to remain shut in many districts of the state. Owners of all such institutions have been directed to not withdraw the payment of salaries of the support staff of such institutions and give them paid leaves.

A committee to look for measures for daily wage earners had been formed on Tuesday chaired by the state’s finance minister and including the labour minister as well as the agricultural minister to come up with estimates of the number of such workers that stand to get affected as virtual shutdowns are being ordered and people are being asked to stay at home to contain the spread of the virus.

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