The government on Tuesday set up 20 control rooms all across the country under the office of Chief Labour Commissioner to tackle issues around wage workers in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
The control rooms have been given the mandate to address issues on two broad parameters - wage-related grievances of workers employed in the central sphere and to mitigate problems of migrant workers through coordination with various state governments. The call centres can be accessed by anybody through phone numbers, WhatsApp and emails.
"All the concerned officers/officials have been advised to adopt a humane approach to assist the aggrieved workmen to the maximum possible extent and ensure delivery of timely relief to the needy ones," the government said in a statement.
The setting up of the call centres comes in the wake of India extending lockdown across the country for another 19 days till May 3. The first round of lockdown ends today.
Migrant workers across the country bore the brunt of the economic hardship due to the lockdown, including loss of livelihood. A large number of workers have returned to their native towns and villages on foot, travelling thousands of kilometres from industrial hubs near Delhi and Mumbai after the first lockdown was announced on the evening of March 24.
A survey for the week ended April 5 by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy pegged India's unemployment rate at 23.4 per cent, the highest ever. This survey, however, did not cover the unorganised sector that accounts for all the migrant population. This segment typically fares worse than the organised sector in times of distress. The government's unemployment data, last released for 2019, had pegged the rate at a 45-year high of 6.1 per cent.