The miseries of the workers relating to Covid19 is unending one.

Few weeks before we had condemned the reform of labor laws, initiated by the Union Government and subsequently followed by various states, because it was an attempt to take away the rights of workers they had achieved through their fight.

In another incident, Supreme Court took a reverse stand on direction of Home Ministry dated March 29, 2020 for persecution of non-payment of wages. It is unfortunate that the apex court on 15th May 2020 has directed the government for ‘not to take any action against any management’ for non-payment of wages during the period of lockdown.

Most recently Mr. Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment and head of Group of Ministers has suggested for ‘rerouting the MNREGA fund to subsidise the wage payment of private enterprises’. It is reported that he has proposed the transfer of a part of MNREGA fund to enterprises such as factories, construction firms, shops etc, to hire and pay their workers. This is a shame. During this period of crisis, the government should allot more fund to such programs.

We want to remind that MGNREGA scheme is strictly to provide jobs to unskilled rural poor workers up to 100 days. There has been a constant demand to raise to 150 days with higher wages. The wage is recently marginally revised.

During the present period of crisis, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers are returning home. These people will certainly need jobs to live up to. They should be accommodated in MGNREGA programe. Instead of allotting more fund to this scheme, the Group of Ministers are proposing for deduction.

The Ganatantrik Adhikar Suraskha Sanghatana is vehemently protesting Minister’s proposal. This should never be implemented. The GASS urges all democratic organizations, trade unions and peasant organizations to raise their voice against the move.

Update released by : Ganatantrik Adhikar Surakha Sangathan, Odisha

Write to: gassbhubaneswara@gmail.com


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