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‘Construction workers need a better deal’

Published: 22nd September 2012 10:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2012 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

Union minister for labour and employment, Mallikarjun Kharge, here on Friday expressed serious concerns over the improper implementation of laws aimed towards the betterment of workers employed in the construction sector in several states and also non-spending of cess collected from builders for the welfare of workers.

Inaugurating a national-level workshop on welfare of building and construction workers, Kharge drew attention over low registration of construction workers, poor collection of cess and their improper utilisation.

Referring to the provisions made under Building and Other Construction Workers Act and the Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, he said that as of now, only 88.10 lakh construction workers have been registered against the total strength of 4.46 crore workers. He appealed to the States to look into proper implementation of laws to ensure welfare and security of unorganised labour and their health care.

“Though the total collection of cess with Construction Workers Welfare Boards stood at Rs 7,057 crore, only some Rs 1,009 crore was utilised for the welfare of workers till June this year,” the minister said.

Kharge  appreciated the efforts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh governments which were making remarkable progress in registration of workers and utilisation of funds for their welfare.

Though Andhra Pradesh has registered 11,64,369 workers with the board and collected a cess of Rs 625 crore, it only spent Rs 34.73 crore so far.

The minister urged the governments to constitute Building and Construction Workers Welfare Boards and provide assistance to beneficiary in case of accident, making payment of pension to beneficiaries who have completed 60 years of age, sanctioning of loan and other benefits.

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