Children Might Be Forced to Work After COVID-19 As Demand For Cheap Labour IncreasesMay 29, 2020 14:10
(Image source from: news18.com)
Due to COVID-19 crisis all the migrant workers are the most affected. According to academics, the worst is yet to come. Since migrant laborers have gone back home, the middle-class people would face a difficulty as they will need to pay more for labor to replace the ones who have left to their cities.
According to Rahul Suresh Sapkal, assistant professor, Centre for Labour Studies, School of Management and Labour Studies, TISS, Mumbai, in this interview told News18 that this circumstance would increase demand for cheap labour and children would be forced to work in factories.
One part of the story was about the crisis with laborers. On the other hand, now it is even about people getting laid off. Even though PM Modi strictly instructed not to lay-off employees, it is still happening.
Labour laws in manycities have changed based on the decision of the State governments.
The trend of Lay-offs is going to stay until and unless the Government intervenes or the Centre provides a fiscal stimulus.
Have the packages announced by the union finance minister made a positive difference to the migrant workers yet?
In the second phase ofAatmanirbhar, the package was seen as a grand scheme. This implies that the workers won’t get cash. That being said, announcing the package and the migrant workers getting to make the most of it is different.
To access the benefits of such a scheme, there are a few rules. One, it has to be proved if you are a worker and for that you will need to show a proof by stating the details of your employer.
You won’t get any benefit if your employer is not recognized. In Maharashtra, around 3 lakh workers are not eligible to for the scheme because of failing to show details of their employer.
Two, there are no fund allocations yet on the social security schemes that have come up. The existing schemes are not utilized to the fullest. Based on the recently announced schemes, money has to be put in. However, as of now there are no updates or details on the schemes yet.
The migrant workers going back to their homes has already put pressure on the rural economy and lack of man power can turn out bad for the economy in cities as well.
All the rural wages will fall big time. The existing problems before May 31st and around 18,000 crore payments are yet to be made.Looking into the situation of the MGNREGA in 2015, the current central Government had changed the provisions for them.
They had divided it into two 60% and 40%. Around 60% of its budget went into capital investment and only 40% went into paying wages.
Taking the present scenario into consideration, even if the government is able to make the most of 40% budget, it won’t be able to employ many workers. At least 80% of the budget should go to paying wages, this is how the Government needs to allocate it.
The situation from here looks bleak and with this migration happening even children might be forced to work in factories and industries with an increase in demand for cheap labour. Only with the interference of the State, things can get better.
By Neha Makhija