Over 48 lakh people in Delhi’s unorganised sector may lose jobs as the demonetisation exercise was not executed properly, said Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken.
The Congress party has planned a protest march from Jantar Mantar to Parliament House on December 24 to highlight the “sufferings” of migrant worker.
“The sword of unemployment has been hanging over the heads of 48.63 lakh people in the unorganised sector comprising daily wage labourers and construction workers among others. Around 15,000 labourers are returning to their homes every day, which is stalling developmental works in Delhi,” he said, addressing a press conference.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 announced the demonetisation of R500 and R1,000 notes with an objective to put a check on black money.
“Labourers are city’s lifeline because no infrastructural developmental can be done without them,” Maken added.
The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee arrived at this figure after holding discussions with several small-scale industry associations. Quoting a National Sample Survey Office survey on employment that says between 2011 and 2012 working population of Delhi was 57.06 lakh and Delhi government data that shows that the number of people in the organised sector was 8.43 lakh in 2009; Maken said 48.63 lakh people in the unorganised sector will lose jobs.
A large chunk of the workforce in factories and industries in the national capital region comprises of workers from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
“Note bandi laayi bhukhmari ka daur, garib mazdoor chale gaon ki aur (Demonetisation brings an era of starvation, poor and labourers are going back to villages),” he said.
There have been media reports on how workers have been forced to leave as low demand has hit production. There have also been cases of workers being forced to take money in old notes.
Maken said he wrote a letter to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 9 to draw his attention to the issue but has not got any reply.