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COVID impact on migrants in Indian Parliament in the winter session

Subject : Working Conditions | Source(s) : mint | Date : 14-Oct-2020

The parliamentary committee on labour is likely to continue with its scrutiny on the handling of the covid-19 pandemic by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, and is expected to submit its detailed report on the impact on labourers, the poor, and migrants in the winter session of Parliament. The committee is also expected to expand its scope and look at the impact of covid-19 on child labour in the country. Some of the members are of the view that the challenge has increased to alarming proportions, making it important to ascertain whether or not the Union and state governments are prepared to deal with the situation. “The impact of covid-19 on migrant labour will continue and the panel expects to submit a detailed report in the winter session. Social security programmes would be another area that it would be very interested in knowing about. It also wants to know the difficulties being faced by industries and the problems of the work force, especially during the pandemic," said a person in the know of development, seeking anonymity. Members of the parliamentary committee said the problems of the unorganized sector has grown, not only because of job losses but also because of unavailability of social security infrastructure. “Problems of the unorganized sector and migration are the key areas that the committee would want to discuss in the coming days. The committee would be meeting after a month and it is important labour, employment, and skill development are discussed in detailed," the person added. There is growing concern in the parliamentary committee that skill development centres that were set up may not be able to provide gainful employment to the people who undertake the courses. “The apprentice programme of the Union government reaches out to a large number of youth, but there is a need for greater scrutiny to find out if it is able to provide gainful employment to people who have completed the courses. Our sense is that it is not happening and people are finding it difficult to get employment. We will invite the representatives of the ministry of skill development to discuss the issue." A meeting of the labour committee took place on Tuesday to select the topics to be examined for 2020-21. “In the meeting we decided that some of the key groups that we will continue to focus on are inter state migrant workers and those working in the unorganized sector. There is also a proposal over inclusion of child labour as one the subjects that we should look at," a person aware of the developments in the meeting said requesting anonymity. “We are also going to dedicate time to examine the coverage of Employees’ Provident Fund in the country and improve its implementation. We plan to continue with our discussions over the state of the textile industry," the person quoted above said. The consideration of subjects is taking place as last month, 24 departmentally related standing committees of both the Houses were reconstituted by Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla in consultation with Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu. Since the covid-19 outbreak, the parliamentary committee on labour has held several rounds of meetings to discuss the fallout, particularly on inter-state migrant workers, and unorganized and informal sector workers. It has got representations from officials of the Union ministries of health, consumer affairs, housing and urban affairs, rural development, skill development, and labour.

Link : https://www.livemint.com/news/india/panel-to-submit-report-on-covid-impact-on-migrants-in-parliament-11602637663368.html

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