Union Minister for Labour and Employment, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar today called for special drive for increasing the registration and to stream line welfare benefit delivery mechanism so as to ensure that all the Building and other Construction (BOC) workers get their benefit. Addressing the National Conference on Building and Other Construction Workers Shri Gangwar said it is matter of concern that while there are more than 5 crore workers in the construction and building sector only 2 crore 86 lakhs have been registered so far.
The Minister said the Hon’ble Supreme Court had expressed concern over the cess fund lying unutilised with the States and have passed directions to register all the BOC workers and fully utilise the fund for their welfare. He added that the Supreme Court has emphasised the need for making Model Scheme which should include social security benefits of health, pension, Safety, education to standardize the social security schemes across the states which has been collected though the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 and Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996. He requested the States and other stakeholders to make use of recently launched National Portal to facilitate registration of BOC workers.
The day long Conference was Chaired by Labour and Employment Minister and attended by the State Labour Ministers, Chairman of the Central Advisory Committee on BOCW, Chairmen of the State Welfare Boards, representatives of CTUs, representatives of Employers, social partners, and senior officers of the States and the Central Government. The Conference was held to discuss on issues relating to working conditions, safety and welfare of construction workers.
Secretary (L&E), Shri U.P. Singh mentioned that it has come to notice that registration of a BOC workers, belonging to other States, is generally discouraged and that welfare benefits are not portable across the States which may be the major reason behind poor utilisation of cess fund. He requested the States to maximise registration, facilitate registration of migrant BOC workers and utilise cess fund to ensure social security benefits to the workers as stipulated under the Act and as underlined by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgement.
The building and other construction workers (BOCW) are one of the most vulnerable segments of the unorganised sector workers in India.
One important outcome of the Conference was constitution of a Committee, having representatives from the States and other stakeholders, to draft a Model Welfare Scheme to provide standardised Social Security to of BOC workers.