//Exodus of labourers from Orissa

Exodus of labourers from Orissa

Govt admits large-scale migration of labourers

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Feb. 15. — The state government today admitted in the state Assembly that 8 lakh labourers migrate to other states every year in search of employment every year. However, only about 40,000 migrant laborers had gone to other states through licensed contractors during 2005.

Minister of state for labour and employment, Mr Pradipta Kumar Naik said migration of workmen is a regular phenomenon in Orissa. While hardly 15 to 20 per cent workmen migrate through different contractors and agents, the remaining 80 to 85 per cent laborers migrate suo motu.
Most of the laborers migrate to states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra while some others go to states like Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Tamilnadu, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Kerala etc, said the Minister.

He informed that as many as 1224 contractors had obtained license under the Inter State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service ) Act, 1979 forv recruitment of 39, 864 migrant laborers to work outside the state during 2005. Similarly, 946 and 1082 licenses had been issued to contractors in 2003 and 2004 respectively for sending 32,730 and 33,964 migrant workmen to work in other states.

As far as the migration of laborers through licensed contractors is concerned, Khurda district tops the list. As many as 452 licenses had been issued to contractors in the district up to November, 2005 and 14,228 laborers had been covered during the same period.

Bolangir and Ganjam are two other major districts from where mass migration takes place. While 345 licenses had been issued to contractors of Bolangir district to send 12,631 migrant workers outside the state. In Ganjam district, 62 licenses had been issued to contractors while 1988 labourers had been covered.

Prosecutions are being filed against unlicensed contractors and agents for illegally recruiting and drafting migration laborers for engagement outside the state, said Minister, Mr Naik.