Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday called for a joint and collective effort to identify 'mathadis' (porters) who are involved in blackmail and extortion and warned of stringent action against them.
Speaking at a rally organised to mark the birth anniversary of Mathadi leader Late Annadsaheb Patil at Vashi, Fadnavis said the state government did not want to thrust any act on ‘mathadis’ and it was just making amendments in the existing act, which is more than 50 years old to ensure action against violators.
Several industries have gone out of the state because of the problems posed by fake and "extortionist" mathadis, he said.
Fadnavis directed the Navi Mumbai police to take action against fake 'mathadis' who take a 25 per cent cut in agreements.
"While amending the Mathadi, Hamal and Other Manual Workers Act we will ensure that that the soul of the act as envisaged by Annasaheb Patil remains intact," he said.
Fadnavis further said that the Maratha community needs to be brought to the forefront and their development needs to be ensured.
More than 70,000 industrialists have been created from the Maratha community through Annasheb Patil Arthik Mahamandal and they have been given Rs 5,000 crore in cost-free loans and the government has footed Rs 507 crore per year for this, he said.