Scheme to prevent return of migrants from villages

New Delhi

Much to the chagrin of industries and businesses expecting the migrant labourers return for work sooner or later, PM Modi will launch on Saturday a Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan to assure them work in own villages in six states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha to encourage them never go back and become part of the economic surge of the rural India.

The scheme to provide livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrants will cover 116 districts of these six states that accounted for about two-third of the migrant workers. The campaign is to be launched by Modi through video conference with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi from Bihar's Telihar village in Khagaria district. Also joining the virtual launch will be the chief ministers of other five states.

The campaign envisages 125 days of the mission mode drive to intensify and focus implementation of 25 different types of works to be provided for the migrants on one hand and create infrastructure in the rural areas with a resource envelope of Rs 50,000 crore, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman disclosed at a press conference as a curtain raiser of the massive programme. She said 12 union ministries will coordinate the campaign.

She said the campaign will cover some 25,000 migrant labourers in each district who will be assured work as per their capability at least for the next four months. The officials also listed the works lined up under the programme at the press conference.

The Prime Minister is also trying to put into action various plans declared by the government last month as part of the economic package to revive the economy as the first was his launch of the auction process of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining through a video conference on Thursday. He said privatisation of the coal mines will help India in becoming self-reliant in coal as part of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat to reduce dependency on imports.

Meanwhile, PM Modi on Thursday said business activity in India is fast returning to normal levels with consumption and demand fast approaching pre-COVID levels as visible in macro data on power, fuel and other consumption.

India faced a recession-like scenario after a national lockdown was imposed on March 25 to curb spread of coronavirus. The lockdown, that has continued in various phases into June, albeit with significant easing of restrictions, resulted in the severe disruption of industrial production and consumer spending, with GDP growth forecast to contract sharply.

With the easing of lockdown conditions, business activity was fast returning to normal levels, Modi said.

At the launch of commercial coal mining, he said "consumption and demand are fast approaching pre-COVID levels".

What the FinMin says

--Rs500b allocated for employment for migrants, to be pooled from 25 schemes

--Workers from across the country wanted to go back to villages a little while after the lockdown began, central and state govts made some arrangements, and they have gone back

--The districts have been looked at to which they have largely returned

--Want to front load money allotted to 25 schemes through 125 work days for migrant labour

--It has been found that migrant workers returned in large numbers to 116 districts, spread over 6 states - Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan

-- PM will launch state-funded rural jobs programme on June 20 for migrant workers

--Government to launch Garib Kalyan Yojana in 116 districts in six states

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