Government has rescued 72 emigrant workers from foreign soil: Minister

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has rescued as many as 72 emigrant workers from foreign soil during 2018-19 financial year, Labour and Employees’ State Insurance Minister Sushant Singh said on Tuesday.

He said this while replying to a question in the Assembly on Tuesday.

“Though the workers going abroad are governed by Emigration Act, 1983 and do not come under the purview of the Labour and Employees’ State Insurance department, the state government has ensured rescue of 72 workers from foreign countries,” Singh informed the Assembly.

The minister said highest number of 62 workers hailing from Ganjam district, were rescued from Saudi Arabia followed by 5 (all from Khurda district) from Malaysia and 2 from Kuwait. One each worker was rescued from Muscat, Bahrain and Dubai.

In the domestic front, in 2018-19 fiscal 2,741 license have been issued to contractors for engagement of 1,28,348 people as migrant workers in different parts of the country, the minister said.

Similarly, the minister said, the Labour department has also helped rescue of 1,387 migrant labourers from Odisha working in different states. “This apart, the state government has also rescued 745 Odia workers trapped in floods in Kerala last year,” the minister said.

He said that the state government has set up Anti Human Trafficking Units in all the 11 migrant worker prone districts. The government has also opened Migrant Support and Resource Centre at Kantabanji in Bolangir district, Padmapur in Bargarh district and Balugaon in Khurda district to assist the people going as migrant labourers to other states and countries.

The people in 11 districts – Bolangir, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Subarnapur, Nuapada, Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Khurda -, are suggested to undertake voluntary registration in gram panchayat level.

Of the 1,28,348 registered migrant labourers going outside in search of work, 77,687 hail from Bolangir district alone.

Four districts – Bhadrak, Deogarh, Kendrapara and Angul – do not have any registered migrant workers.