The Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday said that migrant labourers living in shelters and relief camps during the nationwide lockdown must register with local authorities to find out their suitability for various jobs. This came ahead of the lifting of restrictions on certain economic activities in non-hotspots on April 20. The ministry added that inter-state travel of migrant workers will not be allowed.

The home ministry issued a standard operating procedure to the states and Union territories for the movement of stranded labourers. “Since additional new activities, outside the containment zones, have been permitted in the consolidated revised guidelines with effect from 20th April 20, these workers could be engaged in industrial, manufacturing, construction, farming and MNREGA works,” the home ministry said in its advisory to the states and Union Territories.

The government said that local authorities must conduct “skill mapping” of the labourers to determine the kind of job they are suited for.

The government said that migrant workers who wish to return to their places of work within the state where they are presently located must be screened for Covid-19. “Those who are asymptomatic would be transported to their respective places of work,” the home ministry said. The workers must be given food and water during their journey and social distancing must be strictly observed, the ministry added.

“There shall be no movement of labour outside the state/UT [Union Territory] from where they are currently located,” the advisory stated.

Lakhs of migrant workers in India have been left outside of their home states and without work because of the nationwide lockdown. Many face a shortage of food and essentials where they are as well.

The government has allowed certain economic activities to resume in non-hotspot areas from April 20. Industries in rural areas, non-banking financial institutions, and micro finance corporations will be allowed to operate during the lockdown, which was extended till May 3.

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