Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for giving importance to "dignity of labour" and providing a conducive environment where people can work with satisfaction and peace.
Modi also said his Government will initiate a process to return Rs 27,000 crore lying unclaimed in PF accounts of workers.
"When I joined the Government of India, something was brought to my notice that was shocking and surprising. I was told around Rs 27,000 crore had been taken from workers (as PF contribution) and it was lying unutilised with the Indian Government. Nobody is even asking about it," Modi said.
"What were the reasons? The reason was if a labourer works for six months, then his provident fund would have been deducted. After that he changed job and moved to another place. A labourer cannot afford to return only to take back his small amount. Overtime, lakhs of rupees of such labourers got deposited with the Government and the amount is lying unutilised," he said.
The Prime Minister said his government has decided to find such labourers through Aadhaar card and credit his/her money in their bank accounts. "We have initiated this mammoth task to return all of this Rs 27,000 crore."
He was addressing the 'Shramyogi Kalyan Mela' in 20 places across Gujarat through video-conferencing from Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.
The event was organised by the Gujarat Government, which launched various welfare schemes today for labourers on the occasion of "Good Governance Day".
Modi said his Government has initiated a movement 'Shramev Jayate' (hail the labour) to give due respect to the workforce.
"We cannot eliminate discrimination among people regarding white collar jobs and labour-oriented jobs unless we give importance to labour. Dignity of labour is very important," he said.
"We want to solve the problems of dissatisfaction and unrest among labourers. We are giving utmost importance to provide an environment where the labourer can work with satisfaction and peace.
"We have given special emphasis on good governance. Lack of good governance is the reason behind the problems of common people. A common man has to strive hard to get his rights. Its the Government's duty to provide these rights to the citizens," Modi said.