The government has increased the amount of immediate assistance to rescued bonded labourers to Rs 20,000 from the existing Rs 5,000 under the District Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund, labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya said on Tuesday.
“The scheme provides for immediate assistance to rescued person out of the District Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund at the disposal of the District Magistrate. The amount of immediate assistance has been enhanced from Rs 5,000 to 20,000 with effect from January 17, 2017,” Dattatreya told reporters.
The minister also said the bills on new industrial relations code and wage code which would subsume related legislations would be tabled in the second leg of the Budget session of Parliament.
He said the two bill would be discussed in a ministerial committee headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley this week or next week following which these would be sent for the Union Cabinet’s approval.
Under the revised Bonded Labour Rehabilitation (BLR) Scheme unveiled last year, the states are not required to pay any matching contribution for the purpose of cash rehabilitation assistance.
Besides, the financial assistance has been increased from Rs 20,000 to 1 lakh per adult male beneficiary, Rs 2 lakh for special category beneficiaries.
These special category beneficiaries are children including orphans or those rescued from organised and forced begging rings or other forms of forced child labour, and women and Rs 3 lakh in cases of bonded or forced labour involving extreme cases of deprivation or marginalisation such as transgenders, or woman or children rescued from ostensible sexual exploitation such as brothels, massage parlours, placement agencies etc, or trafficking, or in cases of differently abled persons, or in situations where the District Magistrate deems fit.
The above cash benefits are in addition to other land and housing elements of the original scheme as provided by the District Administration.
The amount of assistance for survey of bonded labourers is Rs 4.50 lakh per district.
The scheme provides for creation of District Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund with a permanent corpus of at least Rs 10 lakh at the disposal of the District Magistrate for extending immediate help to the released bonded labourers.
The fund is released by the ministry under the Scheme directly to the District National Child Labour Project society and the District Project Society in turn releases the fund to the implementing agencies including district administration for the purpose of the Bonded Labourer Rehabilitation Scheme forthwith.
Transfer of benefits to beneficiary account is on DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) mode from District National Child Labour Project Society for cutting delay.