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Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who declared that migrant workers in the State were partners in development of Telangana during the first wave of Covid-19 while extending all possible assistance to them, is now planning to come up with a new policy to extend the benefits of welfare schemes to them. Officials of Labour and Industries Departments have already begun a special drive to collect complete data on migrant workers in the State.

The new policy for the welfare of migrant workers is aimed at extending all the benefits of the State government’s welfare schemes to them, especially providing ration cards, healthcare, education and also skill development training. The officials concerned have been directed to take up a special drive to collect complete data collection of migrant workers in the State within 10 days. Subsequently, the government will work out the modalities for extending the welfare benefits to migrant workers.

“The State government received a lot of appreciation for its work with regards to migrant workers during the first lockdown. The Chief Minister has since been discussing the possibility of extending various welfare schemes to them, on various occasions. It was then observed that the State government had no specific data pertaining to these migrant workers,” a top official told. Telangana was the first State to not only provide ration, shelter and also cash to migrant workers during the first lockdown period, but also arranged for their rail transportation free of cost.

Officials of Labour and Industries departments have been directed to prepare an action plan to collect data from all industries such as pharmaceutical, textiles, rice mills, and construction among others. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar directed the officials to coordinate with the department concerned, appointing a nodal officer and to take up a special drive to collect data within 10 days. While the officials are collecting data pertaining to the exact number of migrant workers in the State, it is estimated that the figure would be around 6.5 lakh.

The data of migrant workers is essential to work out modalities of extending government welfare schemes to them and its financial implications on the State budget. Sources said the State government was already providing free ration rice to several migrant workers as per the Central government’s policy upon shifting their ration card to the State. 

Similarly, the officials are working out feasibility of extending education and health care facilities as well as skill development training programmes by making optimum use of the Central funds.




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