Cabinet clears amendments that will help construction workers

Cabinet clears amendments that will help construction workers New Delhi: Giving more teeth to two laws dealing with welfare of construction workers, the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved amendments which among other things eases some restrictions for availing benefits.

The amendments to 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 was cleared by the Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Building and Other Construction Workers Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 is expected to be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament.

The amendments would also facilitate speedy implementation of these Acts by the Central and the state governments, an official statement said.

According to the proposed amendment, the prerequisite condition of engagement for 90 days to get registered for enjoying benefits is proposed to be done away with.

Besides, to extend benefits to the workers who are engaged in building and construction work after attaining the age of 60 years, this upper age limit criteria is also proposed to be removed.

The amendments also seek to empower state governments to file complaints for any contravention of provisions.

The amendments also prescribed a time limit of 30 days for cess collecting authorities to deposit cess to the state building and other construction workers welfare board which is utilised for welfare of the workers.

The amendments also seek to empower the central government to specify the maximum cost of construction in place of the present limit of Rs 10 lakh.

At present, workers can derive benefits in establishment where the cost of construction is more than Rs 10 lakhs.

The decision of the government for amendments in the Acts follows the recommendation of a task force examining the provisions of the Building and Other Construction Workers Act.

A Tripartite Central Advisory Committee under the Act had accepted the recommendations.

PTI