In an effort to provide employment to the growing number of migrant labourers returning to Uttar Pradesh since the start of the nationwide lockdown, the state government under chief minister Yogi Adityanath has decided to set up migration commission on Sunday.
The decision of the state government is significant as more than 23 lakh migrant labourers have returned to the state since 1 March. The primary focus of the migration commission would be to identify the skills of the migrants returning from different states and ensure they get employment.
“Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath while reviewing the lockdown situation in the state directed that a Migration Commission be set up. By the efforts of the state government, till now 23 lakh workers and migrants have returned to the state. The CM also said to ensure that every migrant worker coming to Uttar Pradesh gets employment. The state government believes that in the wake of the Corona epidemic, it is the first priority of the state government to bring back every migrant safely,” Awanish Awasthi, additional chief secretary (Home and Information) told media in Lucknow.
The CM has also decided migrant workers should be given insurance to secure the lives of labourers and a scheme should be started so that migrant labourers have job security in the state. “The Uttar Pradesh government has already started the process of skill mapping of migrant labourers so that they can be provided employment once they complete the quarantine period,” Awasthi added.
In a review meeting taken on Sunday, Yogi has given directions that such persons should be accommodated in different sectors on the basis of data found during skill mapping. “UP CM @myogiadityanathji announces to set up Migrant Commission. It will map details of migrants, their skills, provide training, ensure social security, employment and loan facilities among other things,” Shishir, director of information public relations in Uttar Pradesh posted on Twitter.
According to a 2017 report of the working group on migration by the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation, quoting the NSS 64th round, NSS 64th round “about 43% of Delhi‘s population are migrants, with over half coming from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar”. Similarly Mumbai too has 43% of its population as migrants, with over half of out-of-state migrants also coming from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It also adds that according to 2011 census, there were 454 million migrants in India, a figure that is likely to have increased manifold given the proportionate population increase.
Uttar Pradesh is not the only state which is grappling with the issue of migrant labourers returning to the state because of lack of economic activity during the nearly two month long nationwide lockdown. BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in both Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been under tremendous pressure from migrant labourers who are returning home in search of work.
In a review meeting that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar took on Saturday, he said that the state government was committed to ensure that everyone will get the option of employment in the state based on their skills. “Migrants will be encouraged to be self-employed based on their skill set in the state only. Our wish is that no one should be forced to leave and opportunities are created in Bihar itself. Several industry clusters too will get identified,” an official release by state government on Saturday said quoting Kumar.
“We have been working with the union government to ensure that these migrant labouers are able to get work. We are thinking of involving these labourers in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The first priority of the state government to increase the number of testing, and reduce the sense of fear among the labourers who are returning to their villages,” said a senior cabinet minister in the Bihar government.