UP first to roll out aid scheme for Covid-hit daily wagers | India News


LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday announced financial assistance through direct bank transfers to daily wage workers in the state, who stand to lose employment during the current coronavirus-linked slowdown. This makes UP the first state to implement a policy for lakhs of people in the unorganised sector in this time of the Covid-19 outbreak.
No sooner was this announced, the Karnataka government told its labour department to identify the modalities of a similar state-funded scheme and the extent of assistance for daily wage labourers in the state.
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UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced Rs 1,000 monthly allowance each for around 35 lakh labourers, hawkers and vendors and free ration to 1.65 crore daily wagers. An estimated Rs 420 crore will be spent on the entire exercise.
Over the next 15 days, each district administration will launch a mammoth exercise to identify beneficiaries and collect bank account details. Those without bank accounts or ration cards will get them on priority.
“As a precaution, we directed several institutions to shut down or reduce staff. Lakhs of poor people will lose their jobs, so the UP government has come up with a proposal to pay them Rs 1,000 per month and provide free ration till the crisis ends,” the CM said.
He said, 20.37 lakh people are registered with the labour department, but bank details of only 5.97 lakh are available. Those without accounts will get help from the district administration and funds from labour cess will be used for the allowance. A budget of Rs 203 crore has been set aside for this.
Unorganised workforce of 15 lakh people like hawkers, vendors, rickshaw and cart pullers will also be identified by the district administration and Rs 1,000 will also be transferred to each of them through DBT entailing an expenditure of Rs 150 crore. The urban development department will prepare their database in 15 days.
Also, the government will provide 20kg wheat and 15kg rice to about 1,65,31,000 construction workers and daily wagers like cart-pullers registered under Antyodaya Scheme, MNREGA and labour department. The disbursal will be undertaken in April. An expenditure of Rs 64.5 crore will be incurred on this process. “MNREGA workers who have not been paid till now will get dues cleared in March,” the CM said.
Quarterly pension to 83.83 lakh beneficiaries of old age, disability and widow pensions will be given two months in advance, in April.
The Karnataka government too is all set to take a leaf out of the UP initiative and provide direct cash transfer to daily wagers and construction labourers, whose livelihood has been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Soon after Yogi made the announcement, the labour department was told to identify the modalities and the extent of assistance provided to daily wage labourers.
Labour minister Shivram Hebbar will meet his officers on Monday to lay out the scheme and later meet chief minister BS Yediyurappa for his approval.



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