Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said on Tuesday that the government had increased the amount of immediate assistance to rescued bonded labourers to Rs 20,000 from the existing Rs 5,000 under the District Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund.
“The scheme provides for immediate assistance to rescued persons out of the District Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund at the disposal of the District Magistrate. The amount of immediate assistance has been enhanced from Rs 5,000 to 20,000 with effect from January 17, 2017,” Dattatreya told reporters in New Delhi.
The minister added that the bills on new industrial relations code and wage code which would also comprise related legislations would be proposed in the second leg of the Budget session of Parliament.
The two bills would be discussed in a ministerial committee headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley this week or next week following which these would be sent for the approval of the Union Cabinet.
Under the revised Bonded Labour Rehabilitation (BLR) Scheme revealed last year, the states are not required to match any contribution for the purpose of cash rehabilitation assistance.
Additionally, the financial aid has been increased from Rs 20,000 to Rs 1 lakh per adult male beneficiary, Rs 2 lakh for special category beneficiaries.
Special category beneficiaries are children including orphans or those rescued from organised and forced begging rings or other forms of forced child labour, and women. And Rs 3 lakh in cases of bonded or forced labour involving extreme cases of deprivation or marginalisation such as transgenders, or woman or children rescued from ostensible sexual exploitation such as brothels, massage parlours, placement agencies etc, or trafficking, or in cases of differently abled persons, or in situations where the District Magistrate deems fit.
The above cash benefits are in addition to other land and housing elements of the original scheme as provided by the District Administration.
The amount of assistance for the survey of bonded labourers is Rs 4.5 lakh per district.
The scheme offers the creation of a District Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund with a permanent corpus of at least Rs 10 lakh at the disposal of the District Magistrate for extending immediate help to the released bonded labourers.
The ministry will directly release the fund under the Scheme to the District National Child Labour Project Society, and the District Project Society, in turn, releases the fund to the implementing agencies including district administration for the purpose of the Bonded Labourer Rehabilitation Scheme forthwith.
Transfer of benefits to beneficiary account is on DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) mode from District National Child Labour Project Society for cutting delay.
The Logical Indian appreciates the government for this step. We hope that all the money allocated reaches the beneficiaries without further hassles and introduction of middlemen.