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The Indian government has paid to evacuate its people stranded abroad, but migrant workers living in other states within the country have to bear their own train fare to return home.

Both local migrant workers and Indians living abroad have been charged for their travel back home in the month of May 2020.

Both local migrant workers and Indians living abroad have been charged for their travel back home in the month of May 2020.Ministry of Labour and Employment in its press release on 6 May 2020 had stated that train fare shall not be collected from the migrant workers who were going back to their home during the COVID-19-induced lockdown. The Labour Secretary also clarified that they had not charged the train tickets form local workers. 85 per cent of the transportation cost is borne by the Indian railways and 15 per cent by the state governments. However, Railway Board had announced extra charges, in addition to the normal sleeper class fare which came into force from May 2020. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has expressed his displeasure via twitter over the migrant labourers being charged by the Indian Railways.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs had posted standard operating procedure for Indian nationals stuck in foreign countries on her Twitter. The guidelines show that people from foreign countries need to pay for flight tickets which are specified by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. However, during the end of January and mid-March earlier this year, the Indian Airforce had flown multiple evacuation missions to bring Indians stranded in COVID-19 hit countries and the passengers were not charged for their trip back home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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