Other States

No migrant worker-related issue in Punjab: CM Amarinder Singh

Medical experts discuss outside an isolation ward for COVID-19 patients at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, in Amritsar.

Medical experts discuss outside an isolation ward for COVID-19 patients at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, in Amritsar.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Chief Minister of Punjab said extensive arrangements had been made to provide shelter and food to migrant labourers who could not leave the State in view the nationwide lockdown and sealing of borders.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh assured Congress president Sonia Gandhi on April 2 that the State did not have a migrant worker-related issue in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown as he had directed the industry to absorb all such labourers stranded in the State.

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Mr. Singh said extensive arrangements had been made by the Punjab government to provide shelter and food to migrant labourers who could not leave the State in view the nationwide lockdown and sealing of borders.

“There is no issues of migrant workers. The industry has been directed to absorb stranded labourers,” the CM said at a Congress Working Committee meet which was held via video-conferencing.

The CWC meeting was held to take stock of the situation and formulate a strategy for the party to play a strong role in this hour of crisis.

Mr. Singh said the Punjab government was taking all necessary steps to address the issues arising out of the exodus of migrant labourers in the wake of the lockdown.

 

The issue has been contained due to timely intervention and arrangements for their food and shelter are being made, he added.

In response to concerns expressed by Ms. Gandhi on the arrangements for farmers in view of the onset of the harvesting season, the Chief Minister said steps were being taken to ensure smooth operations with strict maintenance of social-distancing protocols in the ‘mandis’.

The State has also urged the Central government to incentivise farmers to go in for staggered transportation of the grain to the ‘mandis’ and delayed procurement, he said, as per an official statement.

Briefing Sonia Gandhi about the current situation in Punjab, which has a large NRI population, the Chief Minister said the State had so far been able to contain the spread of the disease through intensive tracing and surveillance.

 

The State government was also preparing to deal with the eventuality of the disease acquiring larger epidemic proportions by May or June, he told the meeting.

Mr. Singh said the State Health Department was in regular touch with the Union Ministry of Health and was adhering to all the protocols laid down by Indian Council of Medical Research and the Ministry.

Asked about the problems being faced by the State, the Chief Minister told the CWC that it was not receiving its share of GST from the Centre which was causing serious financial problems.

On its part, the State government had sanctioned ₹20 crore to all districts to ensure food and shelter for the homeless and the underprivileged, among other measures taken to combat the crisis, he added.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 2:23:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-migrant-worker-related-issue-in-punjab-cm-amarinder-singh/article31239333.ece

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