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Bonded labour rehab to be made Central sector scheme

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 17, 2016

Bandaru Dattatreya

Govt plans to raise assistance from ₹20,000 to ₹1 lakh



The Centre is revising the rehabilitation of bonded labour scheme, bringing it into the Central sector, and plans to raise financial assistance from ₹20,000 to ₹1 lakh, Labour Minister (Independent) Bandaru Dattatreya said here on Tuesday.

“The scheme proposes to increase the Budget provision from ₹5 crore to about ₹47 crore per annum,” he said at a press conference.

Earlier notification

Dattatreya’s statement on Tuesday was a reiteration of a draft notification put up by the Labour Ministry in September 2015, which had proposed ₹2 lakh assistance to special category beneficiaries, such as orphans, girl children forced into prostitution and beggars, of which ₹1.25 lakh would be deposited in an annuity scheme, and the rest in the beneficiary’s account.

On Tuesday, the Minister said that under the package, “The money will remain in an annuity account, controlled by the District Magistrate (DM), and a monthly earning will flow to the beneficiary account for his/her comfortable living. The corpus remains untouched until decided by the DM.” He said a permanent and renewable district-level rehabilitation fund of at least ₹10 lakh will be available with the DM/collector, which will be used as a stop-gap arrangement before reimbursement by the Centre through the direct benefits transfer system, an official release said.

Estimates

According to one estimate, 13-14 million people in India, including children, work as bonded labour, which has been termed as ‘modern slavery’ by academics and labour experts.

However, as per the Labour Ministry, “There is no correct estimation of the extent of bondage, which has also transformed its form under the compulsions of transitional economy.”

Incidentally, the September draft notification had proposed a provision of ₹4.5 lakh assistance for a survey of bonded labourers across States.

Published on May 17, 2016
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