State governments informed Sunil Barthwal, Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, that so far there is no report of unusual movement of migrant workers at present owing to the limited restrictions imposed.
On Wednesday, Barthwal had chaired a coordination meeting with states and UTs to take stock of the preparedness in respect of workers in general and migrant workers in particular.
The state government told Barthwal that barring night curfews and weekend curfews at a few places in some states and UTs where the number of COVID-19 cases are rising, there were no restrictions on construction activities, business activities, running of shops and industrial activities in the country.
They added that some media reports of mass exodus regarding movement of migrant workers to their home states were found to be untrue. It was also noticed that such reporting was based on old photographs. The states have also been asked to be wary of rumour mongering on exodus and take quick steps to counter such rumours. They were advised to reassure migrant workers regarding their safety, security and livelihood.
As of January 12, the business situation is normal throughout the country except 50 per cent restrictions on the workforce at some places, explained Labour Ministry in an official statement.
It added that some states have already made plans for distributing dry rations to the needy labourers if required. While some have made preparations to provide financial assistance from the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) cess fund and Social Security fund available with the states.
The Labour Ministry conveyed that Indian Railways is also keeping a very close watch on the situation, particularly at the major railway stations like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Secundrabad etc. It is ready to provide special trains in case the situation demands. All the states and UTs have been advised to keep a close liaison with the local Railway authoritiess.
It added that 21 Monitoring Centers have been activated across the country by Office of Chief Labour Commissioner (Central). Toll free helplines have been opened by the states. Director of the Department of Food and Public Distribution informed that there is no unusual spurt seen under One Nation One Ration Card as far as ration pick up is concerned.
Meanwhile, over 21 crore unorganised workers have registered themselves on e-Shram Portal, informed Barthwal. State and UT governments have been requested to put in place a mechanism to maintain a record of the migrant workers and register all the remaining workers who have not registered themselves on the e-Shram Portal as yet.
Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries of State Labour Departments and Labour Commissioners of all the state and UTs and officers of Ministry of Railway and Department of Food and Public Distribution participated in the meeting.
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