Database to be prepared after registration of migrant workers
Labor Department to implement the policy in coordination with Revenue, Panchayat and Rural Development Department, Skill Development Authority, Employment Planning, Industry Department, Health, Finance and Home Department
Raipur, 25 March 2021
For protection, welfare and social security of the migrant workers, Chhattisgarh Government's Labour Department has formulated Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020. Notification in this regard has been issued by the Labor Department on 18 March. For smooth and safe migration of the migrant workers, Labour Department in coordination with various departments such as Revenue, Panchayat and Rural Development Department, Skill Development Authority, Employment Planning, Department of Industries, Health, Finance and Home has formulated the policy for migrant workers to provide them better employment opportunities through registration and database compilation.
Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020
The Preamble of Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020 states that Chhattisgarh is an agricultural state rich in natural resources and forest produce. Agriculture, forest produce and wages are the basis of livelihood of most of the residents here. As Chhattisgarh has ‘single crop farming’ culture, the small and marginal farmers as well as the agricultural laborers migrate to other states for livelihood.
Chhattisgarh is making consistent efforts to generate more employment opportunities in the fields of skill development of local youth, agriculture and forest produce and animal husbandry. But often in the hope of better employment and higher income, workers go to other states in search of work. Workers in Chhattisgarh migrate to other states for wage work in the fields of brick construction, building construction, road construction, household work, industry, agriculture, etc., which are of seasonal, casual or full-time nature.
Migrant labour is an important foundation of nation building. The migrant workers have a fair share in the development of the migrant state as well as the native state. But despite the valluable contribution, migrant workers have to face exploitation and difficulties in the migrant state.
Requirement of Migration policy in the current scenario
Presently the Inter-State Migrant Labourers Act, 1979 is effective for the protection of migrant workers, but it has no provision for registration of migrant workers. As their data is not available, migrant workers faced extreme hardships during the lockdown due to COVID crisis. Due to the unavailability of data about their residence, planning, planners etc., it became extremely difficult to locate the migrant workers and provide necessary immediate assistance in the migrant state and local state, while government faced challenges in coordinating with the migrant state to facilitate the return to home state. The migrant workers had difficulty in getting the necessary help at the right time.
It is necessary to create a healthy environment for the workers of Chhattisgarh, so that they can work fearlessy in any part of India and earn livelihood as per their skill and the opportunities available. At present, we need to develop mutual understanding among the States to protect the healthy environment and the entitlements for the workers, to determine the obligations and to establish procedures, so that necessary support can be provided to the migrant workers in emergency situations. Likewise, better implementation of labor laws is required for protection of workers and their interests and they should also be benefited under various welfare schemes.
The objective of Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020 is to create a fear-free environment at the workplace to protect the dignity of workers to do capacity development of migrant workers on the values of equality and to provide adequate employment opportunities at the local level. Other objectives of this policy includes simplification of operation in the existing systems to increase accessibility to migrant workers, to strengthen management of information related to workers, to increase participation of migrant workers in the development of Chhattisgarh and to formulate a strategy for their welfare and safety.
Chhattisgarh State Commitment for Migrant Workers
Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020 also clarifies the commitment of Chhattisgarh State towards migrant workers, which includes skill development of migrant workers, creating awareness among workers through consultation, in coordination and cooperation with the states. State Government is committed to provide benefits of various schemes and facilities to migrant workers in the workplace, protection of women’s rights, and rights of children and workers of weaker sections at work place. Chhattisgarh Government is also committed to arrange budget for labor welfare, provide aid to the migrant workers during emergency, to provide social security to the migrant workers and their families, to ensure that the migrant workers get their rights and also the facilities at par with the workers of the migrant state.
Goal of Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020 is to create a database of all migrant workers, to conduct potential migrant workers survey and to prepare a reliable database. Under this policy, availability of documents of migrant workers like identity card, labor registration, bank account, Aadhaar card etc, identification of destination workplaces of the migrant workers, amd MoU with respective states to secure the entitlements of the workers at the workplaces would be ensured. Goal of the policy is to prepare an action plan for the welfare of migrant workers by analyzing the surveyed data and to to provide benefits under government schemes to the migrant labourers outside the state, on the basis of their eligibility.
Definitation of Migrant Labourer
Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020 clarifies that 'migrant labourer' means a worker who volunteered to migrate from his place of residence, interstate or intrastate or through a contractor, agent, (a member of the family or the entire family or more than one Members migrate). The said migration may be of a seasonal, permanent or temporary nature.
Rights of migrant workers
Under Article 19 of the Constitution, Indian citizens (migrant workers) have the right to freedom of entry to any region of India. Article 16 of the Constitution provides equality of opportunity to all citizens in matters of employment.
Protection of following rights of migrant workers
Freedom of the person to work at any place according to his abilities and opportunities. The benefits of the schemes run by Chhattisgarh Government should be given as per eligibility. Efforts should be made to keep the benefits provided under central schemes and programs unchanged. The work to be done at source-level has been clearly defined under Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020, which includes simplification of the process of labor registration, identification of workers, registration and management of information, ensuring the availability of documents of identity of migrant workers such as Aadhaar card, voter identity card, ration card, bank account, health registration card, labor registration, etc. , panchayat and ward wise maintenance of migration register through digital system, registration of migrant labor planner, contractor, agent under the prevailing labor act, protection of migrant workers under the prevailing labor law.
Information Management: For Labor Information Counter
Launch of helpline service, strengthening of grievance redressal process, coordination with workers, employers, voluntary organizations, migrant state government and managing information, protection of workers' interests, etc. through the labor information board.
Assessment of skill and skill development of workers
Under this policy, skill assessment of migrant workers, formulation of plans for their skill development, emphasis on multiple skill development, verification and certification of the skills of workers, etc. have been included.
To develop legal, judicial and financial literacy in workers
Informing the migrant workers about the legal system of protecting their rights, sensitizing all departments (revenue, panchayat, labor, police, health, food, education etc.) related to migrant workers, sensitizing contractors, employers and labor organizations prior to migration, financial management of the workers, developing understanding on bank behavior, withdrawal of funds from ATMs, mobile banking, wage rate and payment accounts, disseminating the information about migrant labour interest through community promotion and public awareness.
Setting Up Migrant Workers Assistance Center (Labor Resource Center)
To support migrant workers, Migrant Workers Assistance Center (Labor Resource Center) will be established at the development block and district level, a cadre of "Shram Mitra" will be prepared at the local level for the operation of the labor resource center, who will work as labour entreprenuers.
With the help of Labor Resource Center, labour registration will be ensured, workers will be provided benefits under the schemes, protection and social security of migrant workers will be ensured. The labor resource center will make the migrant workers aware of legal, financial and social rights.
It is necessary to ensure departmental accountability for protection of social rights, creating awareness, skill development and development of a healthy environment for the migrant workers.
Revenue Department - Under the migrant labour policy, the District Magistrate will coordinate with various departments through all the revenue officers posted at the district level as Nodal Officer and will take care of migrant labourer rehabilitation and welfare.
Panchayat and Rural Development Department - Maintaining and updating the migrant labourer register and rehabilitating the migrant labourers and to provide employment to the local workers under the scheme of maximum employment regime.
Skill Development Authority - Assessment and skill development of migrant workers and certification of their skills. To coordinate with Employment and Planning Department, Industries Department, Rural Industries Department - various construction departments, to find employment opportunities for workers at local level.
All construction departments - To motivate the contractors in construction works to provide employ the local labourers on priority.
Education Department, Department of Tribal Caste Development - Continuing to provide education facility to the children of the identified migrant labor family and prioritizing the admission of children of migrant laborers in residential schools and identifying the children who have migrated to other states, to inform the concerned states so that they get the opportunity to go to school in the other state.
Health Department - To provide benefits of various health schemes to the migrant workers and to provide medical services to the working women and to the children of the migrant labourer family.
Women and Child Development Department - To improve accessibility to migrant women, and to run Sakhi One Stop Centers in a more effective manner.
Home Department - Launching 'Migrant Workers Help Desk' at Police Station level to provide statutory support to migrant workers.
Labor Department - To ensure better implementation of various labor laws in order to protect the interest of migrant workers and to work for the welfare of migrant workers through inter-state cooperation and coordination. Providing social security to workers through registration.
Urban Administration Department - Ward wise maintenance and updation of migrant labourer registers in slums, labor settlements located in urban areas, ensuring necessary facilities, providing benefits of the schemes as well as health facilities to the workers coming from rural areas to urban areas.
District Planning Committee - Supervising labour welfare works by monitoring and evaluating labour survey, registration, call center, labor resource center at the district level.
Works to be done at the destination
Regarding the works that are needed to be done at the destination of migrant workers, it is stated in the Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020 that the workers are unorganized at the destination, live in small groups and in the absence of information or due to fear of missing work, they face exploitation and other difficulties. In this situation, adequate efforts will be made through information technology, information system in collaboration with the destination state government or local organization to boost the morale of the workers and to ensure their entitlements and facilities at the destinations.
Labour Organizations - Trade Unions, Participation of Voluntary Organizations
Mazdoor Saathi Network - Mazdoor Saathi Network will be created by involving labourer organizations, trade unions, voluntary organizations, local administration etc. in the respective states to assist the workers at the destination places. Through this network, the migrant workers will be helped by establishing inter-state dialogue and coordination.
Wage rate and payment monitoring
State Government would coordinate with the administration of the concerned state to ensure that the migrant workers get the benefits provided by the prevailing labor laws in the destination states. Panchayat and urban bodies will share the information of the migrant register with the concerned state and work for the protection of the migrant workers in the destination state.
Joint effort with the destination states
Chhattisgarh Government would make efforts to do agreements with the destination states for the protection and welfare of the workers. Government of Chhattisgarh would request Central Government and other migrant labour destination states to ensure that the migrant workers have the right to get services, facilities and benefits as per the schemes of the Center and the state where the workers of Chhattisgarh are working.
The migrant labourer often gets employed in an unorganized form at places other than his native place of residence, because of which he/she requires the help of the government in various disasters. Migrant workers mainly have to face the difficulties arising out of natural calamities including accidental death, hostage situation, exploitation by the employer, etc. Since the migrant workers remain unorganized and their employment is irregular, government is expected to provide help to the migrant workers in the crisis situation. Therefore, a coordination committee of departments will be constituted to assist migrant workers at the district and state level in emergency situations.
Measures for financial resources
Chhattisgarh State Migrant Workers Policy 2020 clarifies the measures to be taken for financial resources, as per which the current gap in the recovery of building and other construction cess will be identified and efforts will be made to increase the recovery by filling the gap. Two per cent cess in agriculture market for the welfare of landless agricultural laborers, marginal farmers and daily wagers employed in the mandi. Two percent cess on minor forest produce for the welfare of workers engaged in forest produce collection and procession. Collection of 01 percent cess for labor welfare in form of building and other construction cess out of the budget provided for labor welfare from construction work conducted under MNREGA. Besides, other budget sources will be identified and highlighted so that adequate budget is available for labor welfare. For the welfare of migrant laborers, additional provisions will be made in state government’s budget.