Pay salaries without cut: Bengal govt to private employers

Bengal govt, salary payment, india lockdown, coronavirus outbreak, indian express news

The directions were among many that the state government published to safeguard migrant labourers from restrictions imposed in the wake of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). (Representational Image)

To Alleviate the financial problems of stranded migrant workers in the state due to the nationwide lockdown, the West Bengal government on Sunday directed organised and unorganised sectors to pay salaries to their staff on time without any deduction.

“All industries, shops or other commercial establishments shall pay wages to their workers on the due date without any deduction during the lockdown,” a state government order read.

It also asked landlords to neither seek rent from migrant labourers for a month nor evict them in case they fail to pay.

“Wherever workers, including migrants, are living in rented accommodations, landlords shall not demand rent payment for a period of one month. Landlords forcing labourers and students to vacate their premises will be liable for action under the act,” state the order.

The directions were among many that the state government published to safeguard migrant labourers from restrictions imposed in the wake of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to an order issued by Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, “adequate arrangements of temporary shelters and provisions of food etc shall be made by the district administration for the poor and needy people, including migrant workers stranded due to lockdown measures in their respective areas.” The order also said that for this, the district administrations should explore the options of involving NGOs, civil society and other voluntary organisations.

It also said that if any person who was under quarantine moved to any other state, then the Bengal government would need to notify the authorities of that state concerned.

The order also directed the migrant workers under medical observation to follow the restrictions strictly. It added that if the labourers flouted home quarantine rules, then they would be shifted to the government quarantine facilities.

On Sunday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee again thanked all the medical, paramedical employees and other staff.

She tweeted, “I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude & appreciation for all the Doctors, Nurses, Paramedical Staff, Police Personnel, Govt. Officials, Emergency Response Personnel, Sanitation Workers & Volunteers who have come forward in this hour of need to fight the COVID-19.”

She further wrote, “No words are enough to thank these individuals who are standing up for the community & performing their duties selflessly in these times. They are putting the interest of society above anything else which makes their contribution & perseverance an inspiration for us all.”

On Monday, Banerjee will take part in a video conference with all the district magistrates and superintendents of police to discuss the latest situation of the lockdown.

The state government on Saturday ordered all essential goods shop and medicine shops to remain open as per schedule, failing of which may lead to cancellation of their licence.

However, the shopkeepers said that due to the lockdown, all employees were not able to come to the shop, hence it was impossible for them to remain open till late in the night.

A medicine shop owner, Bappa Majumder, said: “In my shop, one of the employees stays 10 km away and another 6 km away. One comes for three to four days and the other for the remaining days of the week. So, we can’t remain open the whole day. Secondly, we don’t have sufficient stock of all medicines. So, we do not know how long we can continue.”