COVID 19- Central Government Issues Fresh Guidelines For Migrant Workers

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In the wake of COVID-19 migrants have been gathering in large numbers around the bus stops, railway stations, etc. These workers want to go to their home towns. In doing so, they are flouting the social distancing norms.

Ministry of Home affairs has issued Standard Operating Protocols for engaging the stranded labouers in various jobs. This includes industrial, farming, construction and MNREGA works within the States/UTs where they are currently located.

The ministry of home affairs has further stated that local authorities in order provide work to these migrant labours need to register, skill map and medically screen for COVID -19.

Instructions are for:

  • The secretaries of ministers/Departments of Government of India
  • The chief secretaries/administrators of States/Union territories.

Copy of the instructions would be sent to:

  • All the members of the National Executive committees
  • Member secretary, national disaster management authorities

Standard Operating System for movement of Stranded Labour

Since, the breakout of Coronavirus, labourers who were employed in construction, agriculture and other sectors have been moved to shelters and relief camps.

These camps are run by the State Governments and Union territories. With effect from April 20th 2020, the Central Government has allowed these workers to take up work such as construction, MNREGA works, farming and manufacturing jobs.

Ministry of Home Affairs Guidelines

However, there are few guidelines that the Government has set in order to deploy this migrant workforce

  • It is the responsibility of the State Government and Union territories to get the migrant workers registered with the local authorities. Further their skill mapping should be done in order to find out the right set of work for them.
  • If the migrant labors want to return back to their work that they were doing before, authorities should so proper screening. After the screening is done the laborers with no symptoms of COVID-19 can go to their original place of work in the State/UT
  • The Central Government has made it very clear that there would be no movement of the labourers outside the States and Union territories. All the workers should be engaged in the works withing the State/UT.
  • Laborers who are travelling in the bus after the screening should follow Social distancing norms. Further, Health authorities should take due care in sanitizing these buses.
  • The circular from ministry of Home affairs thereafter mentions that the State and Union territories should follow the national directives released on April 15th 2020 while carrying out the above mentioned tasks.
  • Last but not the least, the circular from the MHA mentions authorities are duty bound to keep providing food and water supplies to the workers who are travelling on the buses from once place to another within the State/UT.

Government has taken a step in the right direction to ensure the safety of the workers. At the same time, these workers would also find and start working for their livelihoods.


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