Skip to main content

Rs 52,000 crore funds lying 'idle': Plea to pay 50% wages to construction workers

By Our Representative
Three civil rights groups, two of them working in Gujarat, have asked Union minister for labour and employment Santosh Gangwar to ensure that the Government of India should begin using “the unspent fund of the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare (BOCWW) Cess Fund”, amounting to Rs 52,000 crore, as emergency financial package.
A representation to the minister signed by senior activists of the Mines, Minerals and People (MM&P), Bandhkam Majdoor Sangthan, Ahmedabad, and the Akhil Gujarat Shramyogi Kadar Union, said, the countrywide lockdown announced to arrest the community transmission of Covid-19 “has pushed the unorganized sector workers into dire economic crisis”, adding, the amount should be used to pay 50% of the minimum wages to those registered with different BOCWW boards.
Claiming to work for the social security of the unorganized sector workers, migrants and mine workers for the last 25 years, the groups said, different state governments and Union territories, including Gujarat, have been collecting one to two percent of cess of the value of construction projects under the BOCWW Cess Act, 1996 (excluding the cost of land).
However, regretting that only a “minor percent of the money so collected has been utilized so far”, the representation said, this has led to the accumulation of “unspent balances year after year”, and as per the latest information, “the unspent BOCWW Fund amounts to Rs 52,000 crore.”
Directions to CMs, lieutenant governors to utilize the BOCWW board funds for workers' welfare is yet to see a response
Regretting that the Union minister’s directions to different chief ministers and lieutenant governors of Union territories to utilize the BOCWW board funds for social welfare and for extending the emergency financial assistance package for such workers “yet to see a response”, the representation said, all workers who have been registered with the boards should be allocated “50% of the minimum wages as a subsistence unemployment allowance for next three months” through direct benefit transfer mode in their bank accounts.
The representation further said, “The labour supply contractors often do not register the entire workforce under them in order to bypass labour laws such as Provident Fund Act”, insisting, “The situation that has arisen now demands that all the construction workers need to be brought in to the social welfare benefits of BOCWW Boards.”
Hence, it suggested, the boards should issue directives to “cess collecting officers to get the list of all such unregistered construction workers from the licensed labour contractors operating as per the Labour Contractors Act, 1970 and register themselves as beneficiaries under respective BOCWW Boards.”
---
* Rebbapragada Ravi, chairperson, MM&P; Ashok Shrimali, secretary-general, MM&P; Lalsingh Pargi, Akhil Gujarat Shramyogi Kadar Union; and Vipul Pandya, general secretary, Bandhkam Majdoor Sangathan

Comments

TRENDING

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.