An affidavit has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union of India to extend its scheme of providing dry ration under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Scheme, or any other scheme designed for that purpose to the 8 crore migrant labourers stranded or needy persons who are not covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) or State PDS cards and were identified under the said scheme. This should either be for at least the next 12 months or ensure their inclusion under the National Food Security Act by issuance of ration cards.
The affidavit has been filed by Anjali Bhardwaj in the suo motu case taken by the court on the problems and miseries of migrant labourers.
The affidavit highlights the continuing food insecurity of the migrants since there has been no extension of the Food Security Scheme for migrant labourers and provision of free cooked food has been discontinued. There has also been no report regarding the compliance with the MHA order of March 29 regarding payment of wages.
Bhardwaj has further sought for directions to the Union of India and state governments to set up a proper mechanism with the chief secretaries of each state being responsible for ensuring time-bound implementation of the scheme for distribution of foodgrains to migrant workers.
In addition, a prayer has been made to issue a direction to the Union of India and state governments to provide financial assistance to workers who were self-employed and those whose workplaces shut operations due to the economic hardships during lockdown. This should be at 50 percent of prevailing minimum wages, and should be given for a period of six months, with effect from the commencement of the nation-wide lockdown.
– India Legal Bureau
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