Govt sets up control room to address worker issues during Covid-19 lockdown

The Union labour and employment ministry has set up control rooms across the country to receive and address on a war-footing, the grievances of workers who have been denied wages or retrenched during the national

The labour ministry has made public a list of 60 officers — essentially labour commissioners in 20 regions across the country — along with their e-mail address and contact numbers. They will deal with distress calls from workers who are working under the ‘central sphere’.

This comes as a time when there is growing discontentment among workers living in shelter homes or relief camps in various states. On Friday, hundreds of migrant workers from such camps in Surat, Gujarat took to the streets to demand logistical arrangements for them to return home. The workers, who went to the extent of torching vegetable carts, also asked for wages to be paid by their employers.

ALSO READ: India would have 8.2 lakh COVID-19 cases by now without lockdown: Govt

“We understand that the workers are going through a period of stress and as the extends, they will be more anxious about the prevailing situation.

The control rooms are aimed to listen

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Covid-19 Lockdown: Flour mills run at 25% capacity on wheat, labour paucity

Flour mills across the country have reduced their operating capacities to an average 25 per cent due to unavailability of wheat, workers and packaging materials following the 21-day nationwide introduced to prevent the spread of

India has some 2,500 units with an annual wheat processing capacity of about 25 million tonnes for producing flour, semolina (sooji) and refined flour (maida). Contributing nearly half by number, small wheat processing mills have been forced shut due to the blockage of working capital by biscuit, bread and pav (double bread) manufacturers.

During this lockdown, all such bakery units, which are primarily from the unorganised sector and cottage industry, have shut shop to prevent public gathering and maintain social distancing. Capacity reduction in wheat processing is set to hit the supply of flour, sooji and maida in the near future, and consumers may have to pay much more to buy them.

“Procurement of wheat has become a big problem due to closure of several mandis. Also, the movement of trucks is restricted for fear of police harassment. This, despite the government’s assurance on allowing inter-state movement of trucks. Also, packaging material and labour remain scarce. We are operating

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Get your finances in shape

ICAEW and National Black Women’s Network have created a Guide to Financial Fitness in Business, to provide start-up businesses with the basics of financial awareness.

Crowd funding, peer-to-peer lending and an increasing numbers of Challenger Banks has meant that borrowing for start-ups has never been so easy, and yet so many small businesses are not succeeding.

Sonia Brown MBE, National Black Women’s Network, comments: ‘Since the launch of the Female and BME Business led Forum, the NBWN and ICAEW have recognised the need to produce a guide that simplifies the accounting language in order to avoid long-term financial trouble for those unfamiliar with accounting terminology and practices.

‘By supporting your financial literacy, we hope The Guide to Financial Fitness in Business will enable female entrepreneurs to be better educated about finances and maintain a sharper focus on their cash in order to save them both time and money.’

Sharon Gunn, Executive Director, Members, Commercial & Shared Services, ICAEW, added: “Starting and running a new business can be very rewarding, but it can also be demanding. Only two in five start-up businesses survive until the end of their fifth year. Not all start-ups fail because of financial difficulties, but an understanding

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