Parliamentary panel on labour to scrutinise EPFO spending
20 October 2020: The parliamentary committee on labour is set to scrutinize the ₹10 trillion corpus under the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the performance of the fund management, including its investment decisions since the body started investing in the stock market last year. The committee will also assess the impact of EPFO during the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus and the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the organisation.
Government revises MNREGA targets to raise employment for workers hit by the pandemic
12 October 2020: The central government has revised the targets for commissioning work under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act by 40 crore workdays to 320 crore work days as more and more people are opting for jobs in the face of the pandemic.
In May, the government had pumped in an additional ₹40,000 crore to raise the MGNREGS budget for the year to ₹1 lakh crore as a part of its stimulus package. It also raised the employment target from the first estimate of 281 crore days of work to 300 crore days of work. Over 221.9 crore days of work had already been completed as of 7 October 2020 and more than ₹65,000 crore been released till 5 September 2020. Hence, big states like UP, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal have now asked for additional labour budget
Government directs oil PSUs to construct houses for migrant workers
11 October 2020: Government has directed state owned oil producers – Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), GAIL India Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to build 50,000 housing units on the existing land they occupy for migrant workers. The Affordable Rental Housing Complexes, a sub-scheme of Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana aims to provide ‘ease-of-living’ to urban poor and migrant workers in need of affordable housing near their work sites. The sub-scheme was announced as a part of the stimulus package announced by the government in the wake of dwindling economy after the country underwent an unplanned lockdown.
Labour Bureau to conduct 3 surveys to gauge the state of unemployment
9 October 2020: The Central government has constituted an expert group for 3 years which would guide the Labour Bureau to conduct The Labour Bureau to conduct 3 surveys on migration, domestic workers and professional bodies for evaluating the employment situation in the country with an emphasis of the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the workers. The government had discontinued the practice of collecting yearly employment-unemployment data in 2018.