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Details about Bonded Labour Scheme


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Bonded Labour System has been abolished by law throughout the country with effect from 25th October, 1975 under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Ordinance which was replaced by the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. Under the Act, it is the responsibility of State governments to identify, release and rehabilitate the bonded labour.

Bonded labour robs the debtors of homage and Swaraj, keeping them in a vicious cycle of dependence on the creditor. It can continue for several years and even pass on to the next generation, even though a report sponsored by the Planning Commission found (from a survey of rehabilitated bonded labourers) that nearly half of the loans were for less than Rs. 5,000 and that most loans were for less than Rs. 10,000.
The Government is revising the rehabilitation of bonded labour scheme and increasing the quantum of financial assistance from Rs. 20, 000 to Rs. 1lakh. The Scheme propounds to enhancement the budget provision from Rs. 5crores to about Rs.47crores per annum. This was stated by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (IC) labour and Employment here today while announcing the proposed scheme. While the most separated and marginalized like the unable, female and children rescued from trafficking, sexual exploitation and transgender will get Rs 3lakhs, the next in order is the special category comprising of females and the minors who will now get Rs 2lakhs. A normal adult male bonded labour will get Rs. 1lakh, the Minister added. 

Guidelines of this scheme:
  1. The revised Scheme shall be a Central Sector Scheme and had come into effect from 17th May 2016. The State Governments shall not be required to pay any matching contribution for the purpose of cash rehabilitation assistance.
  2. For special category beneficiaries such as children including orphans and those rescued from organized and forced begging rings or other forms of forced child labour and women the amount of rehabilitation assistance shall be 2lakhs out of which at least Rs. 1, 25,000 shall be deposited in an annuity scheme in the name of each beneficiary and the balance amount shall be transferred to the beneficiary account.
  3. The Rehabilitation package shall be Rs.1, 00,000 per adult male beneficiary. The beneficiary shall have the choice to either deposit it in an annual scheme or receive the cash grant.
  4. The expenditure on awareness generation shall be reimbursed on a case by case basis subject to maximum limit of Rs. 10lakh per State per annum.
  5. The immediate assistance of at least Rs. 5,000 shall be provided by the District Administration to the salvation person out of the District Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund.

Rehabilitation of this scheme:

Sl. No.
RBL Scheme 2016
Amount of help
Up to Rs. 3lakh
Same day
Non-cash help
Land, PDS, House

  • The amount of assistance for survey of bonded labourers is Rs. 4.50lakh per district.
  • Scheme gives for creation of a Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Fund at District level by each State with a permanent body of at least Rs. 10lakh at the disposal of the District Magistrate for diffused immediate help to the released bonded labourers.
  • The revised scheme is a Central Sector Scheme. The State Government is not necessary to pay any matching contribution for the purpose of cash rehabilitation assistance.
  • The fund is released by the Ministry under the Scheme to the District National Child Labour Project Society and the District Project Society in turn releases the fund to the implementing agencies including the district administration.
  • Financial assistance has been increased from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1lakh per adult male beneficiary, Rs. 2lakh for special category beneficiaries such as children including orphans or those rescued from organized & forced begging rings or other forms of forced child labour, and women and Rs. 3lakh in cases of bonded or forced labour involving extreme cases of deprivation such as trans-genders, or woman or children rescued from ostensible sexual exploitation such as placement agencies, brothels, massage parlours, etc. or trafficking or in cases of differently persons or in situations where the District Magistrate deems fit.

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