The Union Minister of State, I/C, Labour and Employment, Mr Santosh Kumar Gangwar has asked all the states and union territories to use Cess fund collected by the Labour Welfare Boards to support unorganized construction workers who sustain their livelihood on daily wages. In the backdrop of outbreak of COVID-19 all economic activities have come to a grinding halt in many states due to lockdown announced by the state governments. As a result, construction workers who get daily wages have lost their source of income.
Labour Ministry has issued an Advisory to all States/UTs to transfer funds in the account of construction workers through DBT mode from the Cess fund collected by the Labour Welfare Boards under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996. About Rs 52,000 crore is available as cess fund and about 3.5 crore construction workers are registered with these Construction welfare Boards.
The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 mandates the State BOCW Welfare Boards to register every BOC worker having completed 18 years of age, but not completed 60 years, and engaged in BOC work for not less than 90 days in preceding 12 months as a beneficiary and give every beneficiary an Identity Card.
The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill was passed in August 1996 to regulate the employment and conditions of service of building and other construction workers and to provide for their safety, health and welfare measure and for other matter connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Act provides for regulating the employment and conditions of service, safety and health and welfare measures for the construction workers by setting up a Welfare Fund at the State level for crediting thereto contribution made by beneficiaries and collection made out from levy of cess of 1% of the construction cost incurred by an employer on construction works. The Fund is to be used for providing financial assistance to the families of beneficiaries in case of accident, old age pension, housing loans, payment of insurance premium, children’s education, medical and maternity benefits etc.