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Gujarat govt transfers funds, promised Rs 1,000 'elude' tribal construction workers

By Our Representative 
Construction workers’ civil rights organization, Bandhkam Majur Sangathan (BMS), has strongly objected to the Gujarat government move to transfer Rs 250 crore from the welfare fund meant for construction workers to the chief minister's welfare package meant for the poor. As of today, an amount of Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund, collected as cess from the construction industry, is lying unutilized.
Stating that, while this is being done in the name of transferring Rs 1,000 as direct cash transfer to 6.38 lakh construction workers registered with the Gujarat Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, “We have received widespread complaints the amount is not reaching the beneficiaries.”
Citing specific examples, BMS director Vipul Pandya said, Laxmanbhai Gamir Patel, a tribal resident of Manli village in Limkheda taluka in Dahod district and six members of his family are construction workers, and each of them is registered with the Gujarat Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, hence should be treated as beneficiaries.
However, Pandya regretted, while Rs 1,000 has been deposited in the account of their Patel's father as a below the poverty line (BPL), the construction workers per se have not received the any amount. “We received a similar complaint from Sanjay Sangada of Delsar village in Dahod taluka and other construction workers as well wondering why Rs 1,000 has not been credited to their account.”
Pandya, who has written a letter to state labour secretary Vipul Mittra, said, “More than 60% of tribal families in Dahod district migrate to urban areas to work as construction workers. About 37,000 of the construction workers are registered at the Dahod district office of the Gujarat Housing and Other Construction Workers Board.”
“The amount, Rs 1000 should be transferred to the account of each of the beneficiaries of the board as a labourer, and not in the name of the mother or the father, who are not construction workers. Worse, while their families are covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the construction workers are getting the benefit under the law”, he added.

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