Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday promised to launch an urban employment guarantee mission to provide the right to jobs to urban labour in the state if his party returns to power.
Noting that urban poverty in Punjab was double the rural poverty, he said the employment guarantee scheme will also cover unskilled labour.
“The Punjab model will launch an urban employment guarantee mission, right to employment for urban labour,” Sidhu told reporters.
“It is like MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) in urban areas,” he said while dubbing this mission as “radical and revolutionary” of his ‘Punjab model’ of governance.
According to Sidhu, less than one per cent of daily wager labourers and construction workers among others have registered themselves as beneficiaries of various government schemes.
He said he met some labourers at Madanpura Chowk in Mohali earlier in the day and asked them how many of them were registered for availing benefits of government schemes.
“Of the 150 daily labourers, only one hand was raised. I asked how many of them had labour cards to which they said officials demanded money,” he said.
“You cannot give benefits of government schemes if you do not know who the recipient is,” he said.
Sidhu pointed out hardships faced by the daily-wagers in the wake of rising cost of essential commodities.
The Punjab assembly polls are due early next year.