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Odisha to be child labour-free by 2025, says CM

Bhubaneswar, Sep 20: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said that the State Government commits itself to the cause of elimination of child labour in all forms by 2025 in Odisha.

“Odisha has formulated the State Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour to stop child labour practice. It focuses on rescue, rehabilitation, education and skill development of the rescued minors and action against the offending employers. The State commits itself to the cause of elimination of child labour in all forms by 2025 and I assure suitable budgetary outlays for this,” said Patnaik while addressing at the inaugural function of two-day national conference on labour here.

Patnaik said to ensure that the entitlements of the workers after migration, my Government has taken recent decision to set up Odisha Help Desks in the five States namely Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Delhi. I look forward to a positive engagement with these States through the help desks which are the first point of contact for Odia migrant workers.

He informed that around 16 lakh workers have already been identified and registered under the Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (OB&OCWB) and have received benefits worth Rs 175 crore.

“I expect that more than 25 lakh workers will be duly registered by the end of this financial year. I would like to inform you that Odisha has spent Rs 200 crores against 1000 crore for welfare of the construction workers and we plan to cross Rs 500 crore this year. The performance of Odisha is one of the best in the last two years in terms of expenditure,” added the Chief Minister.

Addressing the conclave, Union Labour and Employment said his Ministry has recently taken several initiatives for the benefit of labourers like extending maternity holiday week from 12 weeks to 26 weeks and a hike in the minimum daily wage of unskilled labourers working in agriculture sector from Rs 160 to Rs 350.

The conference, attended by Ministers and Chairpersons of Labour Welfare Boards of 29 States, would conclude on Wednesday.

State Minister for Labour and ESI Prafulla Kumar Mallick, OB & OCWWB Chairman Subas Singh, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Union Labour Employment Secretary Shankar Agarwal among many other attended the event.

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