Odisha yet to conduct skill mapping of migrant workers: Parida

Bhubaneswar: Amid influx of lakhs of Odia migrant labourers to Odisha during COVID-19 lockdown, the State Government is yet to make any progress in conducting skill mapping exercise on returnees to provide them livelihood post-lockdown.
The issue was raised by Centre for Policy, Governance and Advocacy (CPGA) Chairman Tejeswar Parida in a letter to Odisha Government recently.
Referring to a news report on skill mapping of the migrant workers, who have returned to the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and our neighbouring state Jharkhand published in a national English Daily, Centre for Policy, Parida placed his demand before the government to take initiative for reemployment of the migrant labourers returning to home state on a large scale.
“Few days back a senior government official in an interview to an English Newspaper informed that the State Government is very soon starting Skill Mapping of the Migrant Workers who have returned or are returning to Odisha. But till today there is no information shared to the people through the Media regarding any process of Skill Mapping,” he wrote.
Expressing disappointment with the government, he wrote that there is no mention of the Skill Mapping process in the daily press briefing by the State Government even though Odisha Skill Development Authority Chairman Subrato Bagchi is addressing the presser as the Chief Spokesperson.
“How many Districts/Blocks have already started Skill Mapping of Odia Migrant workers? Odisha Government has mapped the skills of how many Odia migrant workers in the State till today? Which is the State Level Nodal Agency for the skill mapping process for migrant workers returning to the State? Has the State developed any Uniform Format/Skill Mapping Form which is being used across the State for this process? How many of these returned/returning Odia migrant workers are skilled, semi skilled and unskilled?” asked Parida in a series of questions.
In the letter, he suggested that the Labour Department, MSME Department, Skill Development Department, Industries Department, Panchayatiraj Department etc. need to have a joint planning and execution in this process of skill mapping, skilling, re-skilling, reemployment, rehabilitation of Odia migrant workers.
“The State Government should ensure proper implementation of ‘The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulations of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 for all the migrant workers who are willing to return to the other states they were earlier working and also to all the migrant Odia workers working in other states of our country,” Parida wrote.
He also suggested the government to constitute Odisha Migrant Workers Welfare Commission.
As the State has Orissa Labour Welfare Fund Act – 2005, part of money from the fund can be spent for welfare of migrant worker returnees.
“Odisha Govt. should announce a Special Financial Package to increase the Financial Strength of this Fund with special attention to Odia Migrant Workers,” the letter read.

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