The Union government is expected to launch a digital platform for migrant workers by this week that will allow authorities to provide them with state-run benefits and respond to crises, people said on Sunday. aware of the problem. This follows a Supreme Court order in June that set the July 31 deadline for the move.
Last summer, tens of thousands of low-paid workers marched from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai without much food or money following strict nationwide lockdown during the first wave of Covid -19. In September 2020, then Labor Minister Santosh Gangwar told parliament that the government had no data on how many of these people had left the cities or how many people had died during the lockdown.
The migrant workers portal should fill this gap. This is a joint venture between the Ministry of Labor and Employment and the Common Service Centers (CSC) managed by the Ministry of Electronics and Informatics, the people quoted above said. above.
“The portal is fully ready and we will be able to start registering workers at any time and possibly bring it online this week,” said a Ministry of Labor official familiar with the undercover case. of anonymity.
The platform will allow migrants to register and obtain a unique identifier to access the portal from a CSC. CHCs are access points to a multitude of digital government services across the country and there are nearly 400,000 of them. “The ID can be used to access government programs and services regardless of their location. place of stay, “said an IT ministry official, asking not to be named.
It is estimated that workers in the informal economy contribute nearly 50% of the country’s gross domestic product. “It is not clear, given the enormous recording task, whether this project will be completed in the near future. The first part is the recording, of course, ”said KR Syam Sundar, economist at the Xaviers Labor Relations Institute, Jamshedpur.
According to Sundar, the Supreme Court is aware of “the apathy of governments to comply with critical procedural requirements regarding non-union workers over the (last) decade and a half”.
On June 29, the Supreme Court, while hearing a case on the plight of workers in the unorganized sector, set July 31 as the deadline for the government to “prepare a mechanism” for the registration of these workers. Similar deadlines were also set in 2018 and 2019.
Workers will be registered as and when they request and this could take some time. “But we are going to launch a big awareness campaign so that no one is left behind,” said the head of the Ministry of Labor.
Although there are no official estimates on the total number of migrant workers, a new statistical tool developed by former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian had revealed an “interstate migrant population of around 60 million and one inter-district migration of up to 80 million ”between 2001 and 2011.
According to the second official cited above, the portal is similar to a platform the government of Gujarat launched last month for construction workers to access state welfare schemes. The Gujarat portal registered the registration of more than 100,000 workers within a fortnight of its launch, the official said.
While the unique identification number assigned to migrants will be similar to the biometric Aadhaar, the unique identification will not be made mandatory for registration.