State fails to enact welfare scheme - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Monday, September 9, 2019

State fails to enact welfare scheme


State fails to enact welfare scheme

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 8

Despite clear directions from the Supreme Court and the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment last year, the Punjab Government has failed to implement the Model Welfare Scheme for registered construction workers.

The said scheme is expected to curb the misuse and poor implementation of too many various welfare schemes. In fact, after the exploitation of various schemes — under the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 — the Supreme Court, on March 19, 2018, asked the Union Labour Ministry for a composite Model Scheme for the benefit of construction workers.

Subsequently, On October 30, 2018, the Central Government directed all state governments to strictly comply with the Model Welfare Scheme and file a status report by December 2018. However, Punjab has not complied with the orders till now.

In April this year, Deputy Secretary, Punjab Labour Department, had written to the Punjab Labour Commissioner for “deliberately” delaying the implementation of the Model Welfare Scheme. The deputy secretary also had said that the Office of Labour Commissioner would be held responsible for any delay.

The BOCW, on April 15 this year, had issued orders to implement the Model Welfare Scheme in the state. However, on April 24, the government withdrew the orders, reportedly because the Board had not consulted Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the ex-officio chairman of the BOCW. Sources said the order was withdrawn following pressure from the lobby of middlemen.

The modified scheme had got only seven welfare schemes for the benefit of the construction workers — as compared to the existing 17 schemes of the Punjab Labour Welfare Board. “There are a lot of fake registrations by the middlemen, to get undue benefits under the various schemes” experts said.

Meanwhile, VK Janjua, Principal Secretary, Department of Labour, said, “There was a difference of opinion but things have been sorted out. The file pertaining to the implementation of the Model Welfare Scheme is with the CM. Following his approval, the scheme will be implemented in the state as soon as possible.”

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