CM’s advisor promises to table the Jury Verdict of ‘Janta ka Faisla’ in Labour Planning Task Force
- On the third day of the ‘Janta ka Faisla’ event, Pradeep Sharma, who is the advisor to CM Bhupesh Baghel, appeared before the janta jury.
- Government will bring a new scheme for the labourers to resolve their problems: Labour Commissioner
On the third day of Janta ka Faisla programme, Advisor to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel Pradip Sharma, CII Western region former chairman Pradeep Bhargava, Labour Commissioner Alex Paul Menon and representatives of civil society appeared before the citizens’ jury and tried to answer their queries.
Pradeep Sharma promised that whatever the verdict pronounced by the jury, he will put before the State Planning Commission and try his best to implement the jury’s verdict in the policies and schemes of the state.
Today’s jury questions are as under:
- Why are the labour contractors not registered? Why do the serious and harsh actions not taken against the contract labourers who exploit migrant worker?
- Despite the several schemes and policies that are available for the safeguard of the interests of the poor and of migrant labourers, why are we not aware of it? Why do we suffer? Why has the government not been held responsible for our sufferings and exploitation
- Why is registration of migrant labourers made in groups, not individually? Why is there no registration of migrant labourers at panchayat level?
- Why is a contract labourer working under a petty contractor not provided facilities by the parent company? Why does this discrimination still persist? Despite working for longer hours, we get less wages, why?
- Companies are acquiring our lands, how do we survive? What steps are taken by our government to preserve our culture, livelihoods?
- Where was the government during the lockdown when we were facing all sorts of neglect and atrocities?
These and several other tough questions were placed by the jury before experts and government representatives.
Pradeep Bhargava, former Chairperson, CII West, said, in the context of deteriorating conditions of labourers, industry, government, labour unions are all guilty. ‘We have to accept that all of us have overlooked the interests of the vulnerable labourers’, Bhargava said.
The pandemic and lockdown only exposed the debilitating conditions of labourers. It is not that all these entities were not aware about the situation, he added.
Rajeev Khandelwal, a working committee member on migrant labor policy at Niti Ayog said, the government has to facilitate provision of essential services such as police stations, hospital facilities, court, and legal services, transportation services for empowerment and mobilization of the migrant laborers at the destination area.
Nirmal Agni (Bandhua Mukti Morcha) highlighted that the migrant labor community is segregated into small and culturally eclectic groups. To protect its rights, it needs to unify, especially those employed in the informal sector, Nirmal said. The digitalized registration process should not be a voluntary exercise, and the onus of getting registered should not be left solely on migrant labourers. The registration process can be a success if Government and civil society organizations support each other.
Pradeep Sharma, CM’s advisor, identified the economic incapability of rural areas as a major cause of migration. Strengthening rural villages in output capacity, provision of employment, and minimum wages rate to the employees is essential. The new generation is under the influence of western culture and denies participating in agriculture because they consider it as being of low status, Sharma said. Such behavioral changes are a threat to regional and indigenous culture and values. Our state government is venturing into all these issues.
The state government extended Minimum support prices to Kodo, kutki, and millets which the central government missed. The government is focused on boosting the state’s economy such that it absorbs the labor force as per their skill and knowledge. For those who desire to join agriculture, there will be an establishment of CG Mart under Narwa, Garwa,Ghurwa, Badi of Rural Industrial initiative to sell their produce.
In the case of migrant labourers, any policy recommendations would be discussed by the administration, and an effort will be made to implement them, CM’s advisor added.
While giving a presentation at the stage of ‘Janta ka Faisla’ over the possible outline of a new migrant labour welfare scheme, labour commissioner Alex Paul Menon said, the government is planning to form a new scheme to resolve the issues of migrant labourers.
‘We are trying to develop a new system for registration of migrant labourers, in which registration can be easily done in digital and manual forms. Facility of registration will be available on ward to panchayat level’, the commissioner said. ‘Government will also open a call centre to take feedback from the migrant labourers. It will regularly update the data related to the registered migrant labourers. However, to have a successful operational system, we require help from all sections of society including civil society, migrant labour unions and the public’, the commissioner said.
In addition, experts like Umi Daniel (Aide-et-action, Partha Mukhopdhay (CPR), Ashish Kothari (Kalpvriksha), Indu Netam (Aadiwasi Ekta Manch) tried to answer the questions of the jury putting their views.