Punjab govt says Aadhaar a must for labourers to avail benefits

Punjab labour department has made Aadhaar card and self declaration form compulsory for the labourers at the time of registration to avail benefits under Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Board schemes.The move is aimed to check duplicity and prevent dual distribution of benefits among beneficiaries. The decision was taken in a recent meeting held this month at Chandigarh.

The meeting was chaired by labour commissioner Tajinder Singh Dhaliwal and a direction regarding the same was issued to all the assistant labour commissioners (ALC) across the state on Friday. As per the directions, the labour commissioners have been asked to mention Aadhaar card details of the beneficiary and family members along with a self-declaration form mentioning that other family members of the beneficiary will not take benefits of labour schemes after him.

The move is aimed to check duplicity and prevent dual distribution of benefits among beneficiaries.

The decision was taken in a recent meeting held this month at Chandigarh.

The meeting was chaired by labour commissioner Tajinder Singh Dhaliwal and a direction regarding the same was issued to all the assistant labour commissioners (ALC) across the state on Friday.

As per the directions, the labour commissioners have been asked to mention Aadhaar card details of the beneficiary and family members along with a self-declaration form mentioning that other family members of the beneficiary will not take benefits of labour schemes after him.

The move came after some complaints of dual benefits under various schemes were availed by many persons of a single family.

Under BOCW Act provisions for registration of four family members of the beneficiary can be submitted to the board but only one member can claim the benefits on behalf of the family.

Sources said that in some cases beneficiary and his wife as a member have claimed benefits under Shagun Scheme separately as earlier, there was no check on the number of claimants.

“Now, each beneficiary has to submit details in an amendment forum about the Aadhaar card and family members’ detail declaring that no other member of his family will take same benefits from the labour department,” assistant labour commissioner Sukhjinder Singh said.

BOOSTING WORKERS’ REGISTRATION

Concerning low registration of workers with board, labour department has also asked its officials to paste a list of all the registering labour officers with their name, contact number at the notice board of labour department.

While, contact details with complete information of PWD and other department officers, who registered construction workers with board, have been asked to display in their district labour departments.

Dhaliwal said that many workers are still not aware from where they can get registered so all the officers, workers, trade union workers and NGOs can be directly approached for registration.

As per the information, state labour department has managed to register about 5.61 lakh workers till December 31, even the estimated figures are said to be over 20 lakhs in the state.

The labour department is not able to utilise funds collected in lieu of cess in the state as labour department has collected about Rs 921.75 crore cess amount and spent about Rs 335.99 crore towards the distribution of benefits to beneficiaries and other administrative expenses till the end of 2016.

The board earns its revenue from the ‘welfare cess’, 1% of the total cost of construction projects which are worth Rs 10 lakh or more, which is submitted to the labour department to utilise the labour schemes.

Labour department has also faced wrath of the Punjab and Haryana high court in past due to its slow utilisation of welfare funds.


[Copyright by Jatinder Mahal 
Hindustan Times, Kapurthala]