New Delhi: Expressing thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his precise and timely response to Covid-19 crisis, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has appreciated the will and swiftness of the government on this front. The BMS welcomed the announcement of booster package of Rs 1,70,000 crore by Finance Minister for the affected people and said Rs 15,000 crore for the fight against corona are welcome steps, but it also raised several concerns ranging from migration to the survival of workers and their families.
In a letter to Prime Minister on April 9, the BMS said lakhs of workers have run out of work because of lockdown. A vast number of them are daily wage earners, contractual workers, migrants, construction workers, all kinds of scheme workers, handloom workers, agricultural workers and others. Chances are that lakhs of them are not even registered with the government/welfare boards. The workers of unorganised sector, which constitutes around 93% of the country’s workforce, are the worst hit. The government must come up with additional steps to identify those in need. Trade unions can be handy in the identification process if the government comes up with a plan. We will be more than happy to help,” BMS general secretary Virjesh Upadhyaya said in the letter.
The BMS said the migrant workers who are stuck in different parts of the country must be provided relief packages. They are one of the worst-hit groups. Most of them are not registered with the governments of states they are stuck in and are unable to get any government aid either. The government must come up with some plans for them. The government must ensure proper shelter homes and food/nutrition for them. Once the lockdown is over and industries restart, they will face labour shortage. Keeping this in view lockdown should be lifted in a phased manner and migration back to the workplace must be facilitated, the letter said. State governments have announced relief packages. But barring a few like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Tripura most of the states have not yet transferred any amount. In Tamil Nadu, the situation is worse. Almost 10% of the population is being pushed towards starvation. Workers are forced to refuge their lives in Shylock that will ruin their life quality forever. It is emergency like situation and centre must intervene.