Port Blair, Aug 26: Mr. Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament, A&N Islands has requested the Lt. Governor, A&N Islands to provide financial assistances of Rs.5000/- to all daily wage earners of the unorganised sector and free ration to all PDS card holders for next three months similar to the free ration being provided to the PHH and AAY categories in view of imposition of complete lockdown on weekends and current lockdown for the entire month of August, 2020.
He informed that the current lockdown for the entire month of August 2020 has its own side effects, as it has severely affected the people belonging to poor strata of society who are basically the daily wage earners. Having completely lost the earnings for nearly three months on account of COVID-19 lockdown imposed by the Central Government and the Andaman and Nicobar Administration, these daily wage earners were very slowly and steadily trying to gain normalcy in life with the declaration of unlocking process of COVID-19 lockdown in the month of June 2020 by the Central Government. The present lockdown has again brought back miseries in the life of this major section of society which comprises of construction workers fishermen, fish vendors, agriculture labours ,street vendors, small tea/pan shops, persons working in various traders/merchant shops, house maid, auto rickshaw drivers, bus, car, jeep and various categories of vehicle involves in tourism and local transport cargo transportation, public carrier etc., coconut vendors, bamboo & cane workers, automobile garage workers, carpenters, cook and waiters, cobblers, barbers, dhobi, tin smiths, blacksmiths, plumbers, workers in mills, food vendors, domestic workers, vegetable vendor drivers of various truck, van, security guards, small boat workers in tourism industry etc., as they have once again lost the livelihood for themselves and their families. Considering the plight of this vast section of our society who are very severely affected by the present lockdown, it is felt that the Andaman and Nicobar Administration need to provide relief to these worst affected section of society residing in these Islands.
Hence, in order to cause relief to this vulnerable section of society who have lost their means of earning due to present lockdown as also lockdown since night of 19.03.2020 due to imposition of Cr.P.C under section 144 and various other restrictions by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration followed by lockdown imposed by the Government of India from the midnight of 24.03.2020, the Member of Parliament has made the following proposals before the Lt. Governor for active consideration in order to bring the above listed major section of our society to mitigate their financial crises:-
1) Ex-gratia payment of minimum of Rs.5000/- to be provided to all categories of daily wagers as listed above and also to those which comes under the purview of Un-organised Sectors Social Security Act., 2008. The proposed ex-gratia payment may be done from the Lieutenant Governors ‘s Relief Fund or by seeking special financial package/assistance from the central government in view of our Islands being governed and funded by the Central Government.
2) Free ration of 5 kg rice per person and 01 kg dal per house hold for next three months to all the PDS ration card holders as a special case as being presently extended only to BPL/PHH and AAY categories of ration card holders under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, since economic slowdown of the Islands has primarily been caused due to complete shutdown of tourism and other tourism related activities such as water sports, hotels, restaurants, tours & travel agencies, tourist cabs etc. due to COVID-19 pandemic which was fetching livelihood to more than 50,000 families.
3) To pay 3rd installment of financial assistance of Rs.3000 to the 12101 registered construction workers out of the Buildings and other Construction Workers Welfare Fund held with Andaman and Nicobar Islands Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Board.