Biometric ID Cards for Migrant Workers Soon: Minister

Minister T P Ramakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram: Workers belonging to other states employed in Kerala will be issued ID cards under Awas health insurance scheme after registration this  year itself,  the State’s Minister for Labour and Excise T P Ramakrishnan has said. They will enjoy all the legal protection as local workers, he added.

The government has sought the support of International Labour Organisation (ILO) for the scheme, which has attracted international attention, said the Minister. Media in France and Latin America had carried reports on the initiative, said Ramakrishnan. The workers will get cards in which biometric as well as Aadhaar details would be included. However, those without Aadhaar cards can also join the scheme and avail benefits. The details in the cards will be useful for Health Department, police and other government wings, said the Minister.

Around five lakh workers are expected to be covered during the first phase of registration which will start in September. Officials will visit places where migrant labourers stay and get together and carry out the registration. Workers joining the scheme can avail treatment amounting to Rs. 15,000 free of cost at Government hospitals and empanelled private  hospitals. Besides, in case of the death of a worker enrolled in the scheme, dependents would be paid Rs. 2 lakh.

The Minister released the logo and a brochure  on the scheme in five languages – Malayalam, Hindi, English, Odiya and Bengali. Tom Jose, Additional Chief Secretary, Labour Department; K Biju, Labour Commissioner; J Alexander,  Additional Labour Commissioner and S K Jain, Director, Smart IT, which developed the online registration software, were present.