The government also said it was working on modalities to set up the commission to provide jobs and social security to migrant workers returning to the state.
Two days after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said other states will also need permission from the state for engaging its workers, his government said Tuesday that it would not incorporate, in the migration commission bye-laws, the ‘prior permission’ clause for states seeking to employ manpower from UP.
The government also said it was working on modalities to set up the commission to provide jobs and social security to migrant workers returning to the state. It has named the migration commission as the ‘Kamgar/shramik (sewajojan and rozgar) kalyan ayog (Workers/labourers employment welfare commission).
About 26 lakh migrants have already returned to the state and an exercise to map their skills is being carried out to help them get jobs.
On Tuesday, Adityanath discussed the modalities for setting up the commission and told his officers to complete the skill mapping exercise in 15 days.
“The chief minister discussed the modalities for setting up the commission, as well. There will be no provision requiring other states to seek UP government’s prior permission for employing our manpower. The commission is being set up with to provide jobs and social security to the workers. We will also link the migrants to the government schemes to provide them houses and loans etc,” said a senior officer, who didn’t want to be named.
Adityanath said a letter should be sent to all state governments to find out about migrant workers willing to come back to Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking at a webinar on Sunday, the CM had said: “The migration commission will work in the interest of migrant workers. If any other state wants UP’s manpower, they cannot take them away just like that but will have to seek permission of the UP government. The way our migrant workers were ill-treated in other states, the UP government will take their insurance, social security in its hands now. The state government will stand by them wherever they work, whether in Uttar Pradesh, other states or other countries.”
The ‘permission’ statement sparked a row with some political leaders and parties questioning it.
Earlier in the day, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had severely criticized Adityanath’s stand saying the workers were not the chief minister’s personal property.
“It is very unfortunate that the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh views India in such a way. These people are not his personal property. They are not the personal property of Uttar Pradesh. These people are Indian citizens and they have the right to decide what they want to do and they have the right to live the life they want to live,” Gandhi said.
On Monday, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had taken on Adityanath with a warning that if UP insists on “permission” before other states can to employ workers from there, “then any migrant entering Maharashtra would need to take permissions from us, from the Maharashtra state, our police force. Shri Adityanath needs to take cognizance of this. Also, the Maharashtra government needs to look into this matter seriously. In future, whenever migrants do enter our state, they will need to be registered and their personal details and identification proof will need to be submitted to the police station. Only if these requirements are met, will they be allowed to enter Maharashtra.”
Explaining Adityanath’s point on the issue, the officer quoted earlier said, “The chief minister is deeply moved by the condition of migrants. They have been treated badly by other states. So, when the CM spoke about the need for seeking UP government’s permission, he did so in the role of a guardian for workers. It’s only the CM’s concern for the migrants that came out as a political statement,” said the officer while asserting that Yogi’s statement was in no way out of context.
Meanwhile, CB Pandey, a legal expert, said: “The migration commission can work as a welfare body and watch the interests of the workmen. But most of the migrant workers are employed in the unorganized sector.
The state government can regulate only the recruitment agencies, if any. In more than 99 per cent of cases, no recruitment agencies are involved. Majority of workers of the unorganized sector look for jobs through their acquaintances or family members and regulating them may not be possible.”