'No economic assistance as govt doesn't have migration death data'
The central government has no provision for compensation or economic assistance to the families of migrant workers who died on the journey back to their hometowns during the over 60-day lockdown across the country amid the Covid-19 crisis, the Union Labour Ministry informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Monday.
 
The response came during the opening session of the Monsoon Session which started on Monday with 18 sittings till October 1.
 
In his written reply to Unstarred Question 174 on 'Migrant Workers returning to Hometown', Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said "No such data is maintained" when asked whether the government is aware that a number of migrant workers lost lives during their return to their hometowns and if so, the details of the same, state-wise.
 
Responding to the next question on whether the government has provided any compensation/economic assistance to the victims' family and if so, the details thereof, the minister said "question does not arise". On another question on whether the migrant workers returned to their homes by walking due to no arrangements by the Union government in time, Gangwar said "the Indian Railways has operated more than 4,611 Shramik Special trains for convenience of the workers".
 
The minister said more than 63.07 lakh migrant workers have been shifted to various destinations located in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and other states. Food and water was also provided free of cost to the workers during their journey, he said. Gangwar responded to the question raised by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP Kani K. Navas, Congress MPs Adoor Prakash and Balubhau alias Suresh Narayan Dhanorkar.
 
The government's response on the first day of the Monsoon Session gave a chance to the opposition to criticise the government with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slamming the Centre, tweeting "the Modi government does not know how many migrant labourers died and how many jobs were lost during the lockdown. If you haven't counted, have the deaths not taken place? It is sad that there has been no impact on the government".
 
In his tweet in Hindi, Rahul further said: "The world has seen their deaths. There is a Modi government which has no information." Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said it was a "shocking" reply and said "sometimes I feel we are blind or the government feels it can take everyone for granted".
 
Lakhs of migrant workers took to the roads to go back to their villages from various cities across the country, walking hundreds of kilometres after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 evening announced a countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. The migrant workers started walking back to their homes as they lost their jobs in cities due to the lockdown and were left with no option due to lack of money and food.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    m.prabhu.shankar

    1 week ago

    Not a surprise. As expected. Goal of the current dispensation is to build a Brahmin Rashtra disguising in the name of Hindu Rashtra. Not a single Brahmin would have died in the migrants exodus. For them Non-Brahmins anyway can be dispensed with. So not an issue whether they live or die.

    s5rwav

    1 week ago

    Dear Mr SA Bobde the Chief Justice of India, Please Call Mr Narendra Modi the Prime Minister, Govt of India to Supreme Court of India and Ask him as to Why the Govt of India does Not have the Data on Death of Indians and, if he Really does Not have the Data on Unfortunate Death of Helpless Citizens, then he Must Resign as the Prime Minister since being Incompetent and Inefficient. I am Babubhai Vaghela from Ahmedabad. Thanks.

    Fact check: Another lockdown will not be imposed from Sept 25
    The Press Information Bureau (PIB) on Monday denied reports which claimed that another nation-wide lockdown will be imposed from September 25 and cinema halls will be re-opened from October 1.
     
    An order stating that National Disaster Management Authority and Planning Commission have "directed the Prime Minister Office" to impose a strict nationwide lockdown of 46 days from September 25, was doing rounds on social media.
     
    Calling it fake, PIB stated, "Claim: An order purportedly issued by National Disaster Management Authority claims that it has directed the government to re-impose a nationwide lockdown from 25th September. #PIBFactCheck: This order is Fake. @ndmaindia has not issued any such order to re-impose lockdown."
     
    Amid a sea of fake news circulating on the Internet, another media report was allegedly doing rounds about re-opening of cinema halls.
     
    Debunking the fake news, the Bureau clarified, "Claim: Media report has claimed that Home Ministry has ordered reopening of cinema halls across the country from 1st October with the imposition of strict regulations. #PIBFactCheck: This claim is #Fake. No decision has been taken by @HMOIndia on reopening the cinema halls yet."
     
    The Ministry of Home Affairs in its Unlock 4.0 guidelines had directed that cinema halls will remain closed.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Bank Union Leader Subhash Sawant and Whistle-blower ZB Inamdar Lost to COVID
    Well-known bank union leader Subhash Sawant passed away on Sunday morning due to coronavirus (COVID-19). He was general secretary of Indian National Bank Employees' Federation (INBEF). While he fought several battles for bank employees and staff, his remarkable contribution was as a whistle-blower to fought to highlight mounting bad loans and the lack of accountability of top management. Separately, ZB Inamdar, a banker and whistle-blower who fought a dogged battle against corruption in Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank for over two decades, also succumbed to COVID-19 recently.
     
    Mr Sawant, the general secretary of Central Bank Employees Union, has been actively raising his voice against the rising non-performing assets (NPAs) in public sector banks (PSBs) and its inept handling by the bank officials for many years. His relentless battle in the past exposed the dubious dealings of the Central Bank of India's former chairperson Homai Daruwala and the personal cost that he paid for it have been extensively recorded by us. 
     
    Although he retired from the Bank in 2009, the Bank tried to harass him over his pension benefits in 2014 for speaking out against bad loans.
     
    Only last month, Mr Sawant filed had filed a petition before the Bombay High Court seeking to extend status and benefits given to COVID-19 warriors to bank employees. "These bank employees have been relentlessly rendering the banking services to the society as a whole and as equal to those of doctors, nurses, para-medical staff and health workers.
     
    "However, the government while declaring others as COVID Warriors has neglected bank employees and only lip sympathy has been showered on them," Mr Sawant had said. 
     
    Mr Sawant was strong leader, who used his skill and knowledge in the negotiations deciding service conditions of bankers since 4th bipartite settlement till the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the 11th bipartite settlement. 
     
     
    Bank employees also remember Mr Sawant for his stand on opening of second option for pension after building "strong option campaign as to why the PF Optees should contribute their share of wage increase for benefit of pensioners which had resulted into the opening of second option for pension through MOU on 27 November 2009."  
     
    We Bankers, an online forum that has turned into a bankers’ union, led by young generation of bank employees, called Mr Sawant as a leader who always stood with the right cause. 
     
     
     
    Zakir B Inamdar worked tirelessly for over 25 years to expose corruption in Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank. He and his colleagues, who have relentlessly highlighted the misuse and misappropriation of depositors’ money over two decades, came in for relentless persecution. All their attempts to get the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to act decisively came to nothing. In fact, former central bankers with the RBI have turned into advisers for the Bank after their retirement and cooling off period. 
     
    Is it any wonder that exposing the Bank’s attemp t to mislead depositors by making false claims lead to no action? Here is a link to how the Bank falsely claimed to have been lauded by RBI. 
     
    One cooperative bank fails every month. Bombay Mercantile Coop Bank’s shocking miscounduct was not unknown, yet, it got away because these banks are under dual regulation of the RBI and the registrar of cooperatives. Some egregious examples were documented by Business Standard in this article (https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/bombay-mercantile-bank-nobody-would-listen-118010700747_1.html
     
    ZB Inamdar filed a public interest litigation (PIL), after a decade-long attempt to get RBI to act on detailed and specific complaints of large-scale corruption by the management. RBI was served a notice, but here too, it deflected responsibility to the registrar of cooperatives who did nothing. Now that the buck stops decisively at RBI, will the central bank act? Here is a link to the case in which RBI passed the buck :
     
    Both Mr Sawant and Mr Inamdar were staunch supporters of Moneylife. Both regularly participated in Moneylife Foundation's effort to impart financial literacy and make people aware of their rights. 
     
     
    Moneylife will miss both these stalwart bankers...! 
     
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    COMMENTS

    Ramesh Popat

    5 days ago

    thousands of bankers infected, many lost life.
    recovered may have life long ailments/disability.
    too costly affairs.

    raneamrane

    1 week ago

    Subhash Sawant was an honest, fearless and aggressive leader in Banks. I have lost a close friend, it is very difficult to get a selfless, helpful, energetic leader like him. Mr Mazumdar was running a union under guidance of Subhash Sawant. He was also punished for becoming a Whistle blower. It is very difficult to get protection by such leaders.

    valentine.barboza

    1 week ago

    Y not advise all .. poor and the middle class not to invest in cooperative banks? Solves the problem. These corrupt politicians can’t misuse funds of the poor..

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