Centre Has Left 'National Problem' of Migrant Labourers to States: M Veerappa Moily

Congress leader Veerappa Moily. (Twitter/@moilyv)

Congress leader Veerappa Moily. (Twitter/@moilyv)

Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said migrant labourers are panicky, wanting to return to their native places as there are no jobs, food or proper shelter available to them

Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday alleged that the Centre has left the issue of migrant labourers returning to their native places in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic for the states to handle despite it being a "national problem".

Majority of migrant labourers are panicky, wanting to return to their native places as there are no jobs, food or proper shelter available to them, the former Union minister said in a statement.

"There are reports coming that the migrant labourers who are returning to their native states or green zones like Chhattisgarh are carrying the deadly COVID-19 virus. The government has just allowed the crisis of migrants to be tackled by the respective state governments," he said.

"The issue of migrants is a national problem. Moreover, the present situation has led to a scramble to get back to their respective home states. Many of the states are not willing to provide any package to them," Moily said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the government are not doing anything either to contain the migration of labourers from the respective states or provide them with transport back to their native states, he alleged.

"When the third phase of the lockdown is over, it is important that the central government together with the state governments contain the flood of migrant labourers to revive the economy," Moily said.

If the migrant labourers return to their respective states, what will happen to the labour force needed to start the industries and revive the economy, he asked.

The central government and the state governments are just driving the migrant labourers to a "panicky situation", he said.

Even the basic obligation of the government under the Disaster Management Act doesn't seem to be in place, Moily claimed.

"Mere words of solace by the Prime Minister cannot feed the large Indian populace. They will ultimately lose their patience to hear him anymore," he said.

The prime minister is serious about the present COVID-19 crisis, but actions on the ground level are different and the number of positive cases and deaths have been increasing day by day.

Expressing concern about the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Moily said many of the employees in these MSMEs are not getting salaries right from March-April and they may have to wait for another three months to get their salaries.

The government has not come out with any specific package so far to address these concerns, he said.

The government is also not applying its mind to make the Public Sectors or big industries pay money they owe to the MSMEs, Moily said.

He also alleged that the government has not come out with any schemes to expand healthcare infrastructure or take recourse to research to find a solution to the pandemic at the earliest.

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