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the Labour Ministry has started a campaign to open bank accounts of workers in unorganised as well as organised sector. "We have started this campaign from November 26, 2016 in respect of workers of organised and unorganised sectors who do not have bank accounts," Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya told reporters here. The main objective of this campaign is to ensure that all workers come into banking fold and their wages are sent into their accounts, which will prevent their exploitation and will also help in promoting cashless transactions, he added. In this regard, Labour Ministry is organising camps at the district-level through its organisations -- ESIC, EPFO, and Labour Officers -- in coordination with District Magistrates for opening of the bank accounts. So far 15,134 camps have been held in the country, of which 2,324 camps were organised by EPFO, 2,878 camps by ESIC and 9,284 camps by Chief Labour Commissioner, the Minister said. So far, 3,87,037 bank accounts have been opened across the country due to the campaign, he added. "We are especially focusing on workers in construction, cinema, bidi, Anganwadi, Mid-day meal and Asha workers," he added. Dattatreya said he has requested Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to provide facility of mobile ATM-cum-cash dispensing vans all over the country at strategic locations where there is large presence of workers, particularly, in the unorganised sector. "I also urged him that Banking Correspondent should approach the labour clusters to facilitate money exchange for workers," he added. Besides, the Minister has written to all the Chief Ministers and Labour Ministers about the campaign for opening of accounts. Labour Secretary has already addressed letters to all the Chief Secretaries and Labour Secretaries of states, Dattatreya said. Labour Ministry officials have been instructed to organise camps especially in clusters where concentration of construction workers and bidi workers are there, he added. Dattatreya also informed that today government's think tank Niti Aayog has made a presentation to the Ministry on the benefits of mobile and digital banking.
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