Welfare activities for workers to be implemented effectively
The Labour Department intends to increase the cess collection from the construction sector by about Rs.500 crore in the next two to three months, Labour Commissioner B. Ramanjaneyulu has said.
Addressing a press conference after an awareness meeting on AP Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Act, he said the Act was aimed at benefiting an estimated 50 lakh construction workers by implementing several welfare measures for them from the 1 per cent cess collected.
So far, 17.5 lakh workers were registered and a cess of Rs.1050 crore collected, but only Rs.64 crore was spent on the welfare activities. This was because the cess was being collected from 2007 and implementation had begun in 2010-11, he said.
To implement the welfare activities effectively, district level committees have been formed with the District Collector as Chairman and the Deputy Commissioner of Labour as convener. In the next six months awareness programmes would be conducted and on-the-spot drives conducted at mandal level in an effort to register the workers. A recent court order quashed 383 cases paving way for strict implementation. He said Visakhapantam was faring better than Hyderabad in collecting the cess.
The compensation due to labourers under the Workmen Compensation Act must reach them and to achieve this, meetings were being held with advocates, he said.
The Labour Department’s drive against begging by children that began on January 26 would continue till February 15 with the aim of totally ending it. Children begging would be sent to juvenile homes or Rajiv Vidya Mission’s bridge course. Mothers accompanying them would also be rehabilitated. In Hyderabad, in a day’s drive 46 such children were found.
PF and ESI
Only 28 lakh of the 50 lakh workers were under the Workers’ Welfare Board and of them, ESI and PF were being credited for only 40 per cent. The remaining 22 lakh were to be brought under the board and whether the 40 per cent were getting their due had to be verified, Mr. Ramanjaneyulu admitted. While two lakh establishments and 40,000 factories were functioning, about 1,200 cases were filed for non-compliance.