Inter-State Migrant Workmen (ISMW) Act, 1979
- September 16, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
In the last five years, there have been no inter-State migrant workers registered in the Delhi, Dehradun or Patna regions. Nationwide, there were less than 34,000 workers registered in 2019-20 under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (ISMW) Act, 1979, according to a response to a recent Right to Information Act request.
- Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979. t was enacted to prevent the exploitation of inter-state migrant workmen by contractors, and to ensure fair and decent conditions of employment.
- The law requires all establishments hiring inter-state migrants to be registered, and contractors who recruit such workmen be licensed.
- Contractors are obligated to provide details of all workmen to the relevant authority. Migrant workmen are entitled to wages similar to other workmen, displacement allowance, journey allowance, and payment of wages during the period of journey.
- Contractors are also required to ensure regular payment, non-discrimination, provisioning of suitable accommodation, free medical facilities and protective clothing for the workmen.
Status of implementation
- The onerous requirements set out in this law incentivize contractors and employers to under-report inter-state workmen rather than to register them.
- Since the Act is barely implemented, it exists as another law that potentially provides rent-seeking opportunities to enterprising government inspectors while failing in its main objective.
- Another consequence of weak implementation is the absence of government preparedness and the consequent failure in preventing genuine hardships for vulnerable groups.