President of the Karnataka Building and Other Construction Workers' Federation B. Madhava has urged the Government to constitute an advisory committee to take up the issues concerning construction workers as mandated by the Building and Other Construction Workers' Act, 1996.
Section 4 of the Act mandates the constitution of an 11-member committee comprising builders, workers, engineers, trade unions and elected representatives.
Addressing members of the federation at the annual general meeting here on Sunday, Mr. Madhava said that the constitution of the advisory committee was crucial to the proper implementation of the Act.
He pointed out that the welfare fund created in the State in 2006 when the Act came into force in Karnataka, had swelled to Rs. 600 crore. “But this fund is being used arbitrarily and undemocratically because there is no advisory committee to direct its flow,” he said.
There were several demands from trade unions for increasing the pension and medical aid to the construction labourers. “The State Government's pension scheme to those above 55 years of age entitles them to Rs. 400 a month. But the pension for construction labourers is just Rs. 300 a month,” he said and added that the welfare fund was made up of contributions from the workers themselves.
He urged the State Government to start contributing to the welfare fund of the construction workers.