New Delhi | The Labour Ministry has sought deployment of more mobile ATMs in areas that have high concentration of workers such as construction sites in view of cash shortages due to demonetisation of high value currency notes.
“Labour Ministry has requested Finance Ministry for deploying more mobile ATMs in areas like construction sites and others where there is workforce in large number,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said at conference here as per an Assocham statement.
“Speedy implementation is necessary, for that even our ministry has reviewed, we have given instructions to all state governments and we are requesting the Finance Minister to see that wherever there is large number of workforce, number of mobile-ATMs should be increased,” said Dattatreya.
“Regarding the workers’ areas, we are identifying areas where there is large workforce like construction sites and others,” he said.
“Yesterday I had met the Finance Minister and I have given some suggestions, in which one is this,” he added.
He also said that he had requested Finance Minister to give more priority to the workforce engaged in the unorganised sector in the upcoming Union Budget.
The Labour Ministry, which already has social security agreements with about 19 countries to protect Indian workers’ interest, is working out such pacts with other nations as well, he said.
“Our focus is now going to be on BRICS and SAARC countries also as social security agreements are very-very important for migrant workers,” he said.
Dattatreya said his ministry will also give priority to the unorganised sector in terms of social security.
“There are about five crore construction workers, for them there is no social security but we have converted all of them into organised workforce and now they will get (benefit of schemes run by) ESIC and EPFO.”
Dattatreya also informed that the Labour Ministry is going to extend social security net for scheme workers including – anganwadi workers, ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers, mid-day meal workers and others.
“They have been working for about 28-30 years, they do not have any help or pension, so there are two things – health coverage and pensions, these two things will be covered under social security,” he said.
Highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision that even the poorest of the poor should get social security guarantee and benefits, he said, “For coming days, we think both auto-rickshaw and rickshaw pullers also should have social security as that is the need of the hour”.