Allegations of fund swindling in Odisha's labour assistance probe intensify

Social workers Badal Kumar Taa and Bijay Dash had taken up the matter with state labour commissioner along with copies of the death certificates.
Labour officials interacting with the family of a deceased worker
Labour officials interacting with the family of a deceased worker

BERHAMPUR: Amid allegations of swindling of assistance for deceased labourers’ families, a team of officials from Odisha Labour Directorate led by additional labour commissioner Ghasiram Tudu interacted with the complainants at Chhatrapur and Muniguda blocks of Rayagada district on Monday.

Sources said the family of Harihar Sabar of Naduduguda village in Chhatrapur had applied for financial assistance as per relevant labour laws after his death last year. After repeatedly getting in touch with the labour office at Rayagada, the family members came to know that the assistance of `2 lakh was deposited in the bank account mentioned by them. However, the amount was never reflected in the account.

To add to their woes, the family came to know that another death certificate for Sabar was issued this year and again the ex gratia was deposited in the bank account.

Social workers Badal Kumar Taa and Bijay Dash had taken up the matter with the state labour commissioner along with copies of the death certificates. While alleging similar cases were reported from other blocks in the district, they had said officials of the Rayagada labour office in connivance with doctors and bank officials had swindled the assistance meant for families of deceased labourers.

Meanwhile, Rayagada district labour officer Jasmine Sahu said she was unaware of the details and the truth will emerge once the probe being conducted by the team from the directorate is over.

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