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Labour Department to press for cess payment

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LABOURERS AT WORK:Collection of cess from real estate establishments will go into the implementation of welfare schemes for workers.- Photo: A.Manikanta Kumar
LABOURERS AT WORK:Collection of cess from real estate establishments will go into the implementation of welfare schemes for workers.- Photo: A.Manikanta Kumar

More than four years after one per cent cess was imposed on construction sector, still a number of establishments need to be registered and workers enrolled making them eligible for welfare schemes.

So far 14,000 establishments have been registered and 18 lakh construction workers enrolled making them eligible for various welfare schemes offered by the AP Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. The cess is payable for any construction whether it is a road or a bridge etc.

Of the Rs.1,025 crore so far collected as cess about Rs.800 crore came from central and state government projects, says Labour Commissioner B. Ramanjaneyulu. From builders anywhere between Rs.100 crore and Rs.200 crore had to be realised towards the cess, he says.

Various big companies have approached the Supreme Court contending that the 1 per cent cess would be paid only on value of construction, labour component or questioning why the payment should be made from 2007.

With the Supreme Court ruling that all construction establishments have to pay 1 per cent of the project cost as cess to the welfare board, the Labour Department is gearing up to improve and increase the cess collection, Mr.Ramanjaneyulu told The Hindu over phone.

He said the court had categorically stated that the one per cent cess should be paid on the total construction cost.

In Hyderabad, the number of establishments is estimated at 40,000 and in Visakhapatnam the number is around 7,000. Each work going on is considered an establishment and even if an individual constructs a house if the cost of more than Rs.10 lakh it comes under an establishment.

The cess is supposed to be collected by civic bodies at the time of granting building plan approval.

In government works, the Pay and Accounts Officers would deduct the one per cent and pay the remaining amount to contractors.

Meetings were being constructed in various districts to increase the number of establishments and enrol the construction workers, he says.

The District Monitoring Committee is headed by the District Collector and comprises officials of various departments concerned. So far, Kurnool, Kadapa, Nizamabad, Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari districts have been covered.

G.V.Prasada Sarma


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