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Welfare fund Act to come into force from March 15

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Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan
Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan

Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan has said the Workers Welfare Fund Act, passed by the State Assembly in the last session, will come into force from March 15.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Gurudasan said the rules and welfare schemes under the act were ready and would be soon notified.

He said the Act listed categories of workers, including those in shops and establishment, dispensaries, paramedical units, hotels, and computer-related shops to name a few. The most significant aspect of the new Act was the importance it gave to women workers who would be eligible for maternity benefits. A board comprising a Chief Executive Officer and members, including representatives of workers and employers, would administer the welfare fund.

The Minister said the Government was thinking of proposals to reopen tea plantations that continued to remain idle even after the Government and the Centre's announcement of a revival package.

He said in the case of just one company, more than 15,000 acres of land was lying idle and no Government could approve of such a situation. The Centre already announced a Rs.1,677-crore package for the revival of the plantation sector, he said.

The Labour Minister announced the National Safety Council awards for 2007 on the occasion of Safety Day celebrations. The Minister also announced the awards for excellence in safety management, best performance award and social security.

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