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Govt is ensuring support to labours, and industries: J&K Labour and Employment Secretary

Apr 14, 2020

Jammu, 14 April 2020: Mr Saurabh Bhagat, Commissioner / Secretary to the Govt of J&K, Labour and Employment Department today said, "We are aware of the large numbers of labourers stuck in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir and the government is taking steps to provide relief to them."

Addressing FICCI's interactive session on Workforce and Labour issues in J&K during & after COVID-19 via video conferencing, Mr Bhagat said, "We have a board of construction workers in J&K and we are putting an amount of Rs 1,000 to the accounts of construction workers." He added that the labourer from agriculture will get Rs 2,000 into their accounts.

Mr Bhagat shared that the government has gathered a data of 44,974 labours so far including details of their name, Aadhar number and bank account. In addition to this, the government is also running various camps in the UT to provide relief to the labours across the state to retain them.

Adding that the government is working towards opening up the area in a calibrated manner, post consultation with health experts, the secretary hinted that a large package for the industries is on its way. "The government is well aware of the fact that the industrial sector has to be supported," said Mr Bhagat.

He further shared that Home Ministry has identified a large number of industries that are critical during this COVID period, not just industries related to pharma, but also a large number of industries which are important for the public distribution system.

Mr Lalit Mahajan, President, Bari Brahmana Industries Association and Chairman Federation of Industries Jammu said, �Due to close down, the workers in units producing essential items are also affected. Labours who are supervisors and come from longer distance, should be given passes. He added that the date for EPF submission should be extended like ESI. 

Mr Gagan Jain, General Secretary Birpur Small Scale Industries Association spoke about exodes of labour and wage issue. He said, "We need to have a middle path where the government can also lend a help."

Mr Sheikh Aashiq, President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry suggested if the government can pay the salaries fully or partly or else banks could give interest free loans against salaries to be paid for which repayment should be kept after a year till all the business will stabilize. He added that for essential industries, the government should ensure that employees should not be harassed or stopped en route to the workplace. Mr Gaurav Gupta, from Chamber of Commerce and Industry Moderated the panel discussion, and Arshad Danish State Coordinator FICCI J&K State Council welcomed and did vote of thanks to all speakers who participated in the webinar.