JAIPUR: The war on black money by the Centre has hit construction activities in the district as cash starved contractors and agencies are finding it hard to pay the wages of labourers in Rs 100 and other small denominations. As a result, construction of several ongoing road projects has been stopped across the district for the last couple of days.
“We have constructed a pucca road in Sukinda. I have engaged more than 50 labourers including masons and helpers for the work and I have to pay them around Rs 12,000 as daily wages. Labourers are refusing to accept old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and rather insisting on Rs 100 denomination. I do not have enough Rs 100 notes to distribute among them all,” said Sunil Kumar Routray, a contractor.
As per Government’s directive, the weekly withdrawal limit from a bank is Rs 24,000 per week which is all about only two days of payment to labourers. “How can we pay the workers in the remaining five days which comes to around Rs 60,000 a week,” he said. Most daily wage earners badly require money for their sustainability and in absence of adequate cash, contractors donot have money to pay them daily pushing the workers into further crisis.
Several others contractors across the district have also stopped construction works of different development projects due to demonetisation of high currency notes and scarcity of lower denomination. “No labourer is ready to come and work unless we pay the wages in Rs 100 denomination,” said another contractor.
As we do not have enough cash to give to daily wage labourers, we have stopped our construction work for the past five days, he added. A construction worker, Madhusudan said, “I get Rs 220 as my daily wage. But, I am jobless for the past four days as my contractor has stopped his project due to demonetisation.”