In what could be termed as double-dutch, the A. P. Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board has given a “vague clarification that created more confusion than elucidation” regarding payment of arrears by the construction workers. Now, the officials are bewildered how to renew the membership of a worker who is deceased and pay the compensation to the dependents.
The Sub-Section (1) of Section of 17 of the Building and Other Construction Workers Regulations of Employment and Conditions of service Act, 1996 clearly says that the contributor ceases to be member for non-payment of contribution for period not less than one year.
The registration could be renewed if the Board Secretary was satisfied that there was a reasonable ground for non-payment of the contribution.
In contravention of the Act, the government issued the GO 298 dated March 6, 2012 according permission to the Board Secretary to sanction claims to the workers/their dependents who could not renew the membership in subsequent years of registration. In turn, the Board Secretary, citing the sub section (1) of section 17, asked the officials to forward the claims.
The officials point out that those clauses in the Act were in reference to a worker who is alive.
The officials, now, are bewildered how the registration of a worker, who has expired already, could be renewed. The Board has not issued any guidelines on the renewal of registrations.
“The question now raise is: how many months/days gap between registration and renewal should be considered?
And very basic question is how a registration of deceased person could be renewed?” said an official, who did not want to be quoted.
Tens of applications in this regard are pending with Labour Department in all the districts. In fact, neither the State government nor the Board has designed any format for the renewal of registrations. The GOs and instructions are self contradictory.
The registration cards/identity cards say the registration should be renewed within one year from the date of registration. At the same time, the GOs say that the renewal should be done before April.