Union Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said State governments were not showing interest in enforcing laws related to labour welfare.
At a function to distribute identity cards to the beneficiaries of the National Pension Scheme in Dharmastala on Wednesday, Mr. Kharge said State governments were not enforcing labour laws properly. He asked the non-governmental organisations and labour organisations to ensure the implementation of labour laws, more so with regard to labourers working in the unorganised sector.
Earlier, he told presspersons, who met him at the Mangalore Airport, that it was the responsibility of the State government to raise awareness about the schemes related to labour welfare and ensure better utilisation of the money collected as construction cess. He was responding to a question regarding the recent suggestion by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour that the Labour Ministry should take steps to ensure the registration of more workers as it would help them avail benefits.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour had in its report, submitted recently, that of Rs. 4,316.94 crore collected by States as construction cess, only about Rs. 736 crore had been spent till September 2012. Of the Rs. 656.29 crore collected by Delhi, only Rs. 28.36 crore had been utilised. Karnataka, collected Rs. 644.87 crore but spent only Rs. 5.45 crore, followed by Andhra Pradesh, which collected Rs. 472 crore but spent only Rs. 12.78 crore.
Mr. Kharge said there was no truth in the report that he had spent more than the sanctioned amount during his foreign trips between June 2009 and June 2012.
Mr. Kharge said the expenses had been higher when he attended the annual International Labour Organisation meeting in Geneva. When pointed out that there were more “non executive” delegates on the tour, He said:“I had to take representatives from trade unions and they are non-executives”.
At Dharmastala, Mr. Kharge gave away identity cards to 1.5 lakh persons registered under the National Pension Scheme by the Sri Kshetra Dharmastala Rural Development Project.