Facing flak from different quarters over the plight of the migrant workers returning home from other parts of the country, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in an apparent bid to douse the criticism, said that henceforth the states wanting to hire labourers from UP would need to obtain permission from the state government.
Adityanath, during a meeting with top bureaucrats here on Sunday, said that a 'Migrant Commission' would be formed in the state, which would be entrusted with the task of providing employment to the returning migrant workers.
''Migrant workers cannot now be hired by other states without our permission,'' the chief minister said.
The UP government was conducting a skill mapping of returning migrant workers in order to provide them meaningful employment, sources said.
Sources also said that so far around 23 lakh migrant workers had returned to the state from industrial towns in Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat and other parts in the country.
About the commission, Adityanath said it has been proposed to look into various factors associated with migrant workers' rights and to prevent exploitation while providing an official framework to ensure socio-economic-legal support for them.
"Insurance, social security, re-employment assistance, provision for unemployment allowance are some of the factors that will be looked into by the commission," he said. Upset that migrant labourers were "not properly taken care of" by various states in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, Adityanath said, "These workers are our biggest resource and we will give them employment in Uttar Pradesh as state government is going to set up a panel for their employment. They are our people... and if some states want them back, they have to seek permission from the state government," he said.
There is a need to ensure their socio-legal-monetary rights, the chief minister said.
During an interaction with the RSS-affiliated publications 'Panchjanya' and 'Organiser' on Sunday, he said that as per feedback received from migrant workers who reached Uttar Pradesh, safeguarding their rights should get utmost attention and importance.
The chief minister, however, did not elaborate as to how the state government planned to do so. The officials said that it would not be possible for the state to prevent anyone from accepting employment in the other state.
They also said that providing meaningful employment to such a large number of migrant workers would be a very difficult task.
Sources added that the legal aspects of the decision were also being studied to ascertain if it could stand judicial scrutiny. The opposition parties termed the decision a ''political gimmick'' aimed at silencing criticism over handling of the migrant workers crisis.