Mangaluru, May 9, 2020: Several Congress members in Dakshina Kannada have called on chief minister BS Yediyurappa to announce a package for the more than two lakh workers, employed in the district’s beedi industry. The Yediyurappa-led government announced a Rs 1,610-crore package to help workers and labourers in various sectors, who were hit hard by the lockdown.
However, led by Congress MLA UT Khader, other members of the party such as MLC Ivan D’Souza, Dakshina Kannada District Youth Congress president Mithun Rai, are demanding a separate package for the beedi workers, and the crew of private buses that play a vital role in the public transport sector in the coastal districts.
“Manufacture of beedi is the largest cottage industry in Dakshina Kannada, and we have asked the government to ease restrictions to help these units resume operations, but permission has not been granted yet. Most of the workers are struggling for food, and livelihood has become a challenge for them. The government must take note of their problems, and announce a package for beedi workers,” said Khader on Friday.
Although the Congress members lauded the government for rolling out a package to help the underprivileged sections recoup their losses, they pointed out that those employed in the textile sector, living in pitiable conditions and deprived of benefits too needed monetary aid to get through these times. Khader said that a delegation of Congress members would soon meet the CM in Bengaluru.
MLC D’Souza said that, in addition to the nearly two lakh registered workers, there were 50,000 others not on the rolls of the labour department employed in beedi industry. “There are nearly 25,000 to 35,000 beedi workers in Udupi district too, and the government must announce an exclusive package for them,” he said.
Govt’s efforts in bringing Kannadigas back questioned
On the other hand, former minister Khader expressed dissatisfaction with the state government in its success or lack thereof in bringing stranded Karnataka labourers back home. “Many Kannadigas stranded in other states have received the necessary pass, but they are unable to return owing to lack of official communication from the state government. The government in Kerala has made all the necessary arrangements at Talapady to receive their people stranded in Karnataka. There is no clarity on how the BJP government plans to get those Kannadigas stranded abroad back home,” the senior Congress member said.
Courtesy: Times of India