Coronavirus lockdown | ‘Guest workers’ want to stay back, Kerala tells Supreme Court

Government says they play a quintessential part in various sectors

Updated - June 06, 2020 01:19 am IST

Published - June 05, 2020 10:22 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Migrant workers in Kochi on May 19, 2020.

Migrant workers in Kochi on May 19, 2020.

The Kerala government on Friday told the Supreme Court that “guest workers” in the State did not want to return to their native States amid the lockdown.

Of the 2.81 lakh migrant labourers in Kerala, 1.61 lakh do not want to leave the State, which has effectively checked the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.


“Most of the industries opened in Kerala and some of the guest workers are now not demanding to go back,” according to Kerala’s written submissions before a three-judge Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan.

The Kerala government also said it wanted its “guests” to stay back and prosper. “They are a quintessential element in Kerala’s industry, agriculture and services sector. The government have even started ‘Apanaghar Project’ for providing dwelling places to them at a reasonable rate,” it said.

It was highlighted that Kerala was the “only State in the country providing the highest wage for its guest workers. Most of them are getting at least ₹600 as wages per day and also provided with overtime, bonus and statutory measures”.

The State submitted that 1.53 lakh workers have left the State as on June 3.

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