Social benefits for construction workers soon


New Delhi: Central government announces construction workers and their families across the country will soon be untitled to social benefits such as life and disability insurance, health insurance, housing and pension.

“We want to treat every section of workers equally. Once a building and construction worker (BOC) is registered with the board, he or she would be eligible to all the social benefits that the model welfare scheme provides,” a labour ministry official said.

The Supreme Court, in March this year, had directed the Centre to form a committee and lay out policies of social welfare for BOC workers. It had also asked the Centre to use the cess in the welfare of the workers.

“We will use the cess collected to set up the welfare board. Our moves are totally in accordance with the Supreme Court directive,” the official said.

According to the International Labour Organization, India’s construction workers made up 14.4 per cent of the total employed population in 2000. The number has more than doubled to 30.1 per cent since then. Nirmana, an NGO working for the rights of the construction workers, estimates India’s construction workforce to be around 4.5 crore.

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