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Vendors, lawyers, dancers, brokers — Maharashtra master database to have all migrant workers

Maharashtra govt is planning to maintain a master database of migrant workers engaged in 300 types of jobs in the state.

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Mumbai: With a large number of migrant workers having left Maharashtra during the lockdown, and several of them having returned subsequently, the state government is now planning to maintain a master database of all migrant workers across 300 types of jobs ranging from welders to lawyers and brewers.

The state labour department plans to maintain this database along with information on all migrant workers across ten counts, including mobile and Aadhaar numbers.

“Due to Covid, many migrant labourers employed in Maharashtra returned to their states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh etc. Similarly, some are also coming back to Maharashtra now,” an official from the state labour department said.

“Given everything that has happened over the past few months, it is important to have a list of all migrant workers employed in Maharashtra along with basic information about them,” said the official, who didn’t wish to be named.

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From salt pan workers to share brokers

According to the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008, any industry with less than ten workers falls under the ambit of the unorganised sector, the official said. This includes those who are self-employed too.

On these lines, the state government has drawn up a list of 300 jobs, self-employed and otherwise, based on lists of unorganised labour drawn up by the Union labour ministry and the Census directorate.

The list includes jobs across sectors such as agriculture (farm labour, salt pan workers), construction (fitters, plumbers, welders), entertainment (dancers, magicians, writers), food and hospitality (butchers, bakers, dhobis, watchmen), beauty and wellness services (ward boys, yoga trainers), finance and communication (share market brokers, insurance agents, lawyers), hawking and vending (coconut vendors, pan walas, chaiwalas), manufacturing (beedi workers, masala makers, brewers) and so on.

The database will also take information on these counts — electricity connection number, Permanent Account Number, tax deduction and collection account number, Taxpayer Identification Number, Employee Provident Fund number, Employee State Insurance, Goods and Services Tax ID and a company identification number, if any.

State to update existing computer software

Almost 12 lakh migrant workers left Maharashtra for their native states through the special ‘Shramik trains’ operated by the Railways.

Many more left in state transport buses, and through private transporters. However, over the past two months, many of these workers have gradually started returning to the state for employment.

“The Maharashtra Labour Welfare Board has a provision to maintain information of labourers in all establishments that employ more than five persons. In a computerised manner, the board stores information about the establishment, its workers and its revenue contribution,” said the official.

“This is an umbrella database of all types of workers — organised, unorganised, natives and migrants. We are planning to tweak the same computer software to specifically include data on migrant workers with details on the ten parameters,” he added.

In most cases, details of companies and workers will already be registered with government bodies such as the labour welfare board, the Maharashtra Building and Construction Workers Board and the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health, the official said, adding these existing lists can be tapped to cull out data on migrants.

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