Thursday, February 22, 2024

Work permit process set in motion

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By Our Reporter

 Shillong: In an apparent bid to expedite the process of implementing the work permit system in Meghalaya, the State Government will notify the names of those officials who will form the anti-infiltration directorate which would oversee the task of verifying the antecedents of migrant workers coming into the State.

Speaking to reporters here recently, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma said the officers who will be appointed at the initial stage in each of the seven district headquarters will include labour inspectors, designated magistrates and representatives from the anti-infiltration wing of the State police.

The deputy commissioners of all the districts have been directed to provide space within their office premises to accommodate these officers so that they could begin the process of registration of labourers in the State.

“Once the beginning is made, we will subsequently strengthen the system of registering workers employed in industries and other commercial establishments,” he added.

It may be reminded that the State Cabinet, had, three years back approved an amendment to the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Regulation Act, 1979 (amended in 1985), to give more powers to the law-enforcing agencies to check influx and regulate the employment of migrants in the State.

Reacting to a query on the proposed a full fledged anti-infiltration directorate, the Chief Minister said the Chief Secretary had submitted a proposal in this regard and after scrutiny, it would be brought before a single window agency for clearance.

As per the Cabinet decision, the work permit would be valid only for 179 days, one day short of six months, to deny voting rights to the migrant labourers who come to the State. The permit needs to be renewed after this period, which will prevent a labourer to become a permanent resident of the State or give them the right to vote.

It may be noted that following years of delay and threat of agitation by NGOs, the State Government, last month, decided to implement the work permit system by October.

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