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New Delhi, May 4, 2020
The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare said on Monday that the Centre never asked migrant workers returning to their native places amid the lockdown to pay any money.
Speaking at a press conference, Joint Secretary at the Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, said that the Centre never asked anyone to pay for their travel.
"Our guidelines have clearly said that as part of infectious disease management, people should continue to stay where they are. But based on the requests made by the states to the Government of India, permission was granted to run special trains. We have never asked for money from anyone," Agarwal said.
He also said that the travel expenses were borne by both the Railways as well as the states in order to facilitate the safe return of the migrant labourers and stranded people, but a few states were not cooperating.
"As much as 85 per cent of the travel expense is borne by the Railways and the states have to bear only 15 per cent of the cost. The state governments are also coordinating in order to take back the limited number of passengers and migrant labourers (without charging money), except a few states," Agarwal told the media.