Hyderabad: The number of migrant labour travelling to 18 Emigration Check Required nations has fallen alarmingly since the bifurcation of the two Telugu-speaking states.
According to the Union ministry of labour and employment, Telangana state was going to see a 50 per cent dip in migrant labour while Andhra Pradesh might bring it down by 20 per cent. This is happening because both states were successful in providing employment opportunities as they embarked on major infrastructure projects like Mission Bhagiratha, Polavaram and various other developmental activities.
But both state governments disagree with the Centre’s report, even doubting its sanctity.
They wondered how one could have accurate figures when several people migrate on a visiting Visa and end up with a job.
The ministry of external affairs maintains data in respect of ECR passport holders travelling legally to any of the 18 ECR countries for overseas employment, namely the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Indon-esia, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sud-an, Syria, Thailand,
Yemen, Libya and South Sudan.
The data comprises immigration clearance taken by recruiting agents and project exporters.
According to the ministry, 25,081 labourers from Telangana state emigrated to ECR nations in 2016; 16,470 in 2017 and 13,085 in 2018. The state government successfully prevented migration to these nations through its developmental activities.
Telangana NRI affairs official, Mr E. Chittibabu, said most of the labourers have been migrating to Gulf countries from the erstwhile Nizamabad, Adilabad and Karimnagar districts. He said women from the Old City area in Hyderabad and Mahbub-nagar visit after marrying someone abroad.
Mr Chittibabu differed with the Centre’s figures. He said over 10 lakh labo-urers have been working in the Gulf nations. He said the Centre has conveniently declared the numbers of fresh emigrants, without mentioning the number of existing labou-rers. He said the Centre’s employment guarantee scheme, too, minimised the number of emigrants.
He was of the opinion that if migrant labourers were brought back to the state, the state could provide them employment opportunities thanks to ongoing mega irrigation projects like Kaleshw-aram, apart from infrastructure projects going on across Telangana.
He wondered how the Centre was able to come up with such accurate figures, when most labourers migrate to other countries on a visiting Visa and then do illegal jobs.
Even AP has brought down the number of migrant labourers from 27,005 to 15,528 in three years. Around 27,005 labourers had migrated in 2016, 16,216 in 2017 and 15,528 in 2018. These labourers migrated mostly from Kadapa and two districts in coastal Andhra Pradesh region, including East Godavari.
The Centre’s report said 5,20,938 labourers migrated in 2016; arou-nd 3,61,276 in 2017 and 3,40,157 in 2018 from 29 states and seven Union territories.