Over 4.3 lakh migrants from Assam stranded across India

State offers financial assistance, but also faces challenges in paying government employees

Covid 19Image Courtesy: deccanchronicle.com

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who handles heavyweight portfolios such as Health and Finance has revealed that over 4.3 migrant workers from Assam were stuck in different states across India and were finding it difficult to fend financially for themselves and their families.

Speaking to media persons Sarma revealed that this information was gleaned from data regarding incoming calls to the state helpline from outside Assam. Sarma said, “We have announced that the state government will provide financial aid to the students, wage labourers, pilgrims who are stranded outside of the state due to lockdown. Many people from poor and middle-class families are still stranded outside of the state and facing a lot of problems. In this regard, we have launched a helpline number 9615471547. Till now, we have received 9,29,568 calls on the helpline number. The mobile network service providers told us that 4,32,383 calls are actually coming from outside Assam.”

Sarma also said that out of the 4,32,383 people, 2,17,220 people had already filled up the government provided form through online system. He said that the state government will provide a financial aid to 50,000 people on April 20 to those stranded who are outside of the state. At present over 66,000 workers from Assam are reportedly stranded in Karnataka, 34,000 in Kerala, 33,000 in Tamil Nadu, 21,000 in Maharashtra, 16,000 in Telangana, 5,600 in Gujarat, 4,600 in Goa, 4,500 in West Bengal. The government has also provided aid of Rs 25,000/- each to 720 people from Assam stuck elsewhere and suffering from serious illnesses like cancer.

Till Saturday 4,400 samples were tested in Assam as per official data. Out of these, 4,199 tested negative and 34 tested positive and 167 test results are awaited. One more patient tested negative on Monday and was released. As of Monday, the state had 34 positive cases, 18 discharged, 15 active cases and one death due to Covid-19.

Assam had appealed for additional rapid testing kits to ramp up testing across the state.

Meanwhile, in what could prove to be a setback for government employees in the state, their monthly salaries appear to be in jeopardy on account of the financial constraints being faced by the state.

The government had released salaries for March before Rangoli Bihu, a major festival that marks the beginning of the new year in the state. But it faced challenges in releasing the salaries for April given its dwindling coffers. The Assam government employees typically receive their salaries on the 7th of the month. There are over 4.5 lakh state government employees and according to The Telegraph the state spends Rs Rs 2,250 crores on their salaries every month.

Concerns about salary payment were heightened on Saturday when Sarma told media persons that a clear picture would emerge only after April 25. But it appears now the center is looking into the matter. On Sunday, Sarma tweeted:


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