Monday, December 4, 2023

Migrant labourers’ issue: Supreme Court says it is not happy with steps taken by Centre

A startling fact was pointed out to the court, as Counsel said that 24 crores more people have been pulled below the poverty line.

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The Supreme Court on Monday said it was not happy with the steps taken by the Centre in addressing the acute problems of migrant labourers during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

The two-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Justice M.R. Shah was hearing a suo motu plea, titled problems and miseries of migrant labourers, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

While it was pointed out to the Court by Counsels that states are yet to properly initiate the Atmanirbhar scheme to eight crore migrant workers who did not have a ration card, it was also stressed that actually, eight crore was the number of the Central government, while the governments are providing ration to only around two crore migrant workers.

Another startling fact was also pointed out to the court, as a Counsel said that 24 crore more people have been pulled below the poverty line. “The situation is even more grim than the last time,” added the Counsel.

As the issue of cash transfer was discussed, it was pointed out that the government has given cash of Rs 1,000 to Rs 6,000 to construction workers, but the states have not considered other workers like rickshaw-puller, rag picker etc. It was said that cash transfer should be provided to them also.

When the Bench commented, “There has to be some registration to identify such workers,” it was pointed out that “from the last one year, the governments have not been able to set up a portal for the registration of migrant workers.”

Read Also: Narada case: CBI challenges Calcutta High Court order in Supreme Court

That was when the Bench commented, “We are not happy with the steps taken by the Central government. We will pass some directions.”

The next date of hearing will be on June 11/14.

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