630 migrant workers come to Kerala daily

A first-ever Kerala government-assigned study has found around 25 lakh migrant workers in the state, mainly from north India, who send home an annual remittance of Rs 17,500 crore or 5 per cent of Kerala's income.

The study conducted by the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT) for the Labour Department was presented in the Assembly Friday by Labour Minister Shibu Baby John.

"That 90 per cent of them have proper ID cards clears the misgiving that many of these workers are illegal migrants from Bengladesh," GIFT director D Narayana said.

While 60 per cent of the workers are in the construction sector, 3 per cent are in the agriculture sector, 7 per cent in hospitality, and 8 per cent in manufacturing. Ninety per cent of them are men, between the ages of 18 and 36.

In a year, it is estimated that 2.35 lakh workers come to Kerala around 630 a day registering an annual growth of 10 per cent.

Narayana told The Indian Express that 20 per cent of the workers are from West Bengal, 18 per cent from Bihar, 17 per cent from Assam, 15 per cent from Uttar Pradesh, and 7 per cent from Orissa.

While their wages range from Rs 350 to Rs 900, only 9.8 per cent get a daily wage of Rs 500 or above.

The study notes that the migrant workers not only live in poor conditions but are also feel insecure as Kerala has seen many clashes between them and locals.

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