Pune: Labour minister Hasan Mushrif on Friday said that the state government has utilised only 2.5% (Rs40 crore) of the Rs1,600 crore that it collected under the welfare scheme for construction labourers through cess on infrastructure projects.
He attributed the sorry figure to the apathy of district collectors in propagating health and insurance schemes for these workers.
The minister was speaking at a function organised by labour department at Balewadi Sports Complex to launch a scheme for providing health and accident insurance cover to construction and other labourers. Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar inaugurated the scheme and launched a plan to provide honorarium to domestic workers.
Minister of state for labour Rajendra Gavit and labour commissioner Madhukar Gaikwad were present.
Mushrif said that the government has collected Rs1,600 crore by imposing 1% cess on all infrastructure-related projects. The fund is earmarked to be utilised for welfare scheme for construction labourers in the state.
“Despite my letters to district collectors to include employment guarantee scheme for the labour force, including those working in brick kilns, stone quarries and sand mines, they have not responded positively,” Mushrif said.
He said that there are only 1,33,770 registered construction workers in the state.
Pawar said that there was a need for elected representatives to effectively propagate the scheme for increased response by registering more construction workers.
‘Special visit’ for domestic workers
Women domestic workers were brought to Balewadi sports complex in buses and paid Rs300 per head at the parking lot. These beneficiaries told journalists that they were unaware of the purpose of this special visit. Congress MLAs, MLCs were conspicuous by their absence at the programme. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) flags were displayed everywhere except at the main stage despite it being a government programme.
Baramati Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule, NCP Rajya Sabha MP and city unit president Vandana Chavan, mayor Chanchala Kodre, MLA Bapu Pathare, Vaishali Bankar and Baburao Chandere were present.