Congress President Sonia Gandhi has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to roll out emergency welfare measures for construction workers and those in the unorganised sector due to the ongoing lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
In her letter dated March 23, Sonia pointed out that the construction industry employed more than 44 million people in India.
“Over the last week, lakhs of migrant workers in major cities across India have left for their hometowns and villages, fearing a prolonged economic downturn. They are now faced with a precarious future. Many are stranded in cities and are deprived of their livelihoods due to the stringent lock down measures,” she added.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has imposed a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions will be enforced for 21 days.
“There will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” Modi said in a televised address.
Congress president highlighted that several countries have announced wage subsidy as part of its Covid-19 economic response plan.
She said the measures taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus have led to “widespread economic disruptions that had a debilitating impact on the informal sector”.
“I request you to consider advising the state building and other construction workers welfare boards to roll out emergency welfare measures, particularly wage support, to construction workers who are in distress,” she added.
Sonia also urged Congress-ruled states to help the construction industry workers.
“The construction sector is still reeling under the twin blow of demonetisation and GST, and slowdown triggered by COVID-19 is likely to further deepen the crisis,”
In separate letters to the chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, Sonia wrote.