The Tamil Nadu government has ordered that rent cannot be forcibly taken from workers, including migrant workers, for a period of one month. This announcement was made in Government Order (GO) No. 195, dated March 30, 2020. The Government Order (GO) further stated that lawful action can be taken against landlords who force students and labourers to vacate. Along with the GO, the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami also gave a press release, in which he requested people to defer rent by two months for anyone who is unable to pay rent currently.
The GO applies to labourers including migrant workers. "To ensure that wherever the workers, including the migrants, are living in rented accommodation, the landlords of those properties shall not demand payment of rent for a period of one month," the GO said, "If any landlord is forcing labourers and students to vacate their premises, they will be liable for action under the Act."
The order has also directed all employers to ensure wages are paid without deduction to workers. "All the employers, be it in the industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, shall make payment of wages of their workers, at their workplaces, on the due date, without any deduction, for the period their establishments are under closure during the lockdown," the state has ordered.
Keeping in mind the hardships faced by migrants across the state, the government has ordered that adequate arrangement for temporary shelters be made for them. It has also ordered district administration to oversee that food is provided to those stranded due to the lockdown.
"The migrant people, who have moved out to reach their home states/hometowns, must be kept in the nearest shelter by the respective District Collectors/Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation after proper screening for a minimum period of 14 days as per standard health protocol," states the order.
These additional measures have been taken based on a directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with the situation for effective implementation of lockdown measures and to mitigate the economic hardship of migrant workers.
Renewal dates of vehicle licence and Fitness Certificate (FC) have been extended by 3 months. Renewal can be done upto June 30. Payment of property tax, water tax, etc that has to be paid to the local bodies can be done until June 30.
The country will continue to remain under lockdown until April 14 to fight the spread of COVID-19. Tamil Nadu had already announced Section 144 in the state ahead of the lockdown and all commercial establishments except essential services were shut down.