The Union Ministry of Labour And Employment on Monday said that no data has been maintained on migrant deaths hence “questions does not arise” of compensation.
The response by the ministry was given to a question raised in the parliament that sought information on the death toll of migrant workers who died while on their way to their native places after losing their jobs while the lockdown was active due to the pandemic.
The ministry was also questioned if the families of the deceased have been compensated or not.
The ministry however stated that there was no question for compensation to the victim’s families as no data was maintained by the government.
“No such data is maintained. Question does not arise in view of the above,” said Union labor minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar on being questioned.
The Centre’s response in Lok Sabha triggered massive criticism from the opposition.
“The Modi government does not know how many migrant labourers died and how many jobs were lost during the lockdown. If you haven’t counted, have the deaths not taken place? It is sad that there has been no impact on the government,” said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
“Shocking that the labour ministry says it has no data on migrant deaths and hence no question of compensation,” said Digvijay Singh of Congress, adding that the “government feels it can take everyone for granted”.
Kerela Finance Minister Thomas Isaac termed it as “utter callousness”.
Several migrant workers, who either walked or travelled in other private vehicles died while on their way towards their hometowns after losing jobs amid the imposed lockdown. Many lost their lives due to hunger, tiredness and ailments which consumed them due to days of walking.
According to reports in national media, more than 100 migrant workers were killed.