Single accounting system will work in their favour, says Kharge

The introduction of a single provident fund account number will help unorganised migrant labourers, Union Minister for Labour and Employment M. Mallikarjun Kharge said here on Saturday. Those who travel from one State to another in search of employment can then enjoy the benefits of the provident fund.

He was speaking at the 4th All-India General Council Meeting of the Builders’ Association of India (BAI) and stated that the single accounting system would work in favour of the labourers and improve their working conditions.

Urging the builders to look into the welfare of the labourers and highlighting the need to provide good working conditions to them, he said satisfied workers would help deliver good work. He pointed out that labourers, who are involved in unskilled work, lack bargaining power. “The nature of their work is temporary and they sometimes even put their life at risk while working,” he said, adding there was a need to evolve mechanisms to provide social security to the people working in the unorganised sector.

Mr. Kharge also said States were not implementing the labour laws effectively. “Since most of the labour laws come under the concurrent list, the State governments need to enforce them. We need to understand that true development cannot take place without inclusive growth,” he said.

Members of the BAI presented a memorandum to the Union Minister on their grievances. B. Seenaiah, president, BAI, said builders were facing a lot of problems because of the lack of proper policies. Assuring the builders that he would look into their problems, Mr. Kharge said, “If the industry dies, workers will also not exist.”

However, he said that there was a need for the builders to continue paying 1 per cent cess. But he also pointed out that since 1996, the government had collected Rs. 8, 800 crore as cess, which is not even half the yearly revenue of the builders.

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