40 lakh migrant workers - Rs 25k cr flowing out of economy every year
Alappuzha: The flow of migrants into Kerala continues unabated. A national security report by a central agency shows that 40 lakh migrants have entered the economy of the state so far. This converts into Rs 25,000 crore in payments every year. More than 60% of the labour scene in government and private sector has been taken over by migrant labour, mostly Bengalis and illegal migrants from Bangladesh (around 45%).
Kerala receives more migrant labour than any of the other Indian states. Of this, Ernakulam tallies at the maximum with 8 lakh migrants. Kozhikode, Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram have over four lakhs each. Thrissur, Kannur, Kollam and Malappuram have between two to three lakh migrant labourers each. Around 1.5 lakh is the tally in the other districts.
The numbers proved difficult to track since thousands of migrants come and leave every week. Neither the police nor the employment departments have any reliable statistics regarding the exact number of labourers. Estimates say that at least 1500 migrants reach the state every week. This includes the non- Bengalis who number around 55% of the total reaching the state from Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and UP.
A 2013 study by the Gulatti Institute of Finance and Taxation is the only formal record in the posession of the Police and Employment departments. According to this, there were at least 25 lakh migrants earning around Rs.17,500 crore for their home states in that year.
The study also said that around 45 lakh migrants will be in the state by 2023. They also earn around Rs. 13,700 in six months according to the report. Around 30,000 migrants have settled down permanently at Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram.
Migrants now make around 65% of several private enterprises. They have also started monopolising the industries such as cashew, hotels, brick kilns, construction, quarries and fishing with their daily wages from Rs.400 to Rs.900.