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Bandaru Dattatreya wants states to implement law for construction workers

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Concerned about poor implementation of the Act on construction workers, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has asked states to ensure that state advisory committees under the law meet once in 3 months. SACs advice states on matters related to administration of legislations that are referred to them.

“Kindly ensure that state advisory committee (SAC) in your state/UT meet once in every three months and take proactive role in implementation of the welfare schemes under the Act,” Dattatreya said in his letters to the Chief Ministers.

“It has been noticed that SACs are not meeting regularly on account of which the implementation of the Act has suffered further,” he said.

The Labour Ministry had directed states/UTs to constitute SACs through an order issued on October 23, 2015 as they play very important role in the implementation of the Building and Other Construction workers Act 1996 and Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act 1996.

The Supreme Court on various occasions has been expressing serious concern and displeasure with regard to the “poor implementation” of the Act.

It has observed that considerable amount of cess at the disposal of states/UTs is being poorly utilised and the benefits under stipulated under the scheme are not being given to the building and other construction workers.

The Act provides for regulating the employment and conditions of service of building and other construction workers and also provides for their safety, health and welfare measures and other matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Under this law, every employer is required to pay the cess at the rate of 1 per cent of the cost of construction to the state/UTs welfare board. The collected funds are used for welfare of these workers. About Rs 21,000 crore is lying idle with these welfare boards of different states/UTs.