Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today chaired a review meeting of the Department of Labor and Employment at the Civil Secretariat.
During the meeting, the Lieutenant Governor issued instructions to extend Rs Two Lakh insurance cover to the entire workforce including those in the unorganized sector. The insurance premium would be borne by the Ministry of Labor and Employment.
The government is committed to social and economic justice for the unorganized sector workforce and every effort is made to protect the interests of the workforce, their welfare, skills development needed to improve capacity, the lieutenant governor said.
Assessing the department’s function, the Lieutenant Governor stressed that special efforts should be made to saturate the self-employment programs and requested the department to organize a mega job fair in Jammu and Srinagar.
Inquiring about the measures the department has put in place to ensure that there are no instances of bonded labor and child labor at J&K, the lieutenant governor asked the department to ensure that J&K is free of bonded labor and child labor through regular inspections and investigations. He spearheaded the start of an unorganized labor helpline.
“The ministry must ensure that there are no cases of exploitation of non-unionized workers. Proper employment planning and flexibility in workforce deployment in the context of changing market conditions should be the priority,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
The Lieutenant Governor impressed senior officials in the Department of Labor and Employment for the welfare and support of the unorganized workforce and their children.
“Health, safety and social security benefits like financial aid should be the top priority. The Department should also ensure that all possible assistance for children’s education and scholarships is provided within a specified timeframe,” the Lieutenant Governor told the officers.
Reviewing the department’s employment sector, the Lieutenant Governor emphasized integrated planning by bringing all departments together on a single platform and working in convergence for effective employment-related services and efficient.
Facilitate job opportunities through national job fairs and an IEC campaign should be launched to raise awareness among the target population, the lieutenant governor said.
The Lieutenant Governor directed the department to register all unorganized labor and transfer all accounts from J&K EPFO to Central EPFO as soon as possible.
UT industries should employ skilled local labor and trained ITI professionals. The department should conduct an evaluation of career counseling sessions every six months, the lieutenant governor told officers.
Instructions were also issued to activate the working sarais (night shelters), their proper functioning and to complete the shelters under construction as soon as possible; resolve the 974 pending court cases under various labor laws in a timely manner and organize regular meetings of the advisory councils relating to the Department of Labor and Employment, in addition to the smooth running of the ESI program.
The Lieutenant Governor was briefed on the functioning and roles of the department via a Power Point presentation by Ms. Sarita Chauhan, Commissioner Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Sh Munir Ul Islam, Managing Director/Secretary, J&K Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board; Sh Nisar Ahmad Wani, Director of Employment, J&K; Sh Abdul Rashid War, Labor Commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir, along with other concerned officers from the department were present.