Mumbai: Nearly 12 lakh construction workers who come under the category of building and other construction workers in Maharashtra are set to get Rs 2,000 from the state government during the lockdown.
Initially, the government had planned to give Rs 5000 in two installments of Rs 2,500 each but the proposal has been revised to the payment of Rs 2000 for now. The government is expected to issue a notification soon.
The money will be made available from the labour welfare fund which has a corpus of Rs 9,000 crore.
The labour department’s proposal was pending for almost 20 days now as it was moving from one department to another for clearance. Some departments had raised objections citing that of the 12 lakh building and other construction workers more than 5 lakh were registered in Nagpur alone.
Senior bureaucrat told FPJ,’’ If the government had stuck to its original proposal of paying Rs 5,000 each in two installments, it would have required Rs 600 crore. That money could have come from the labour welfare fund. However, in view of the revised proposal about Rs 250 crore will be needed and that would be made available from the labour welfare fund.’’
The government’s move comes close on the heels of release of revised lockdown guidelines. The construction activity has come to a standstill largely because the workers have either left to their hometowns or are being currently put in the relief camps.
‘’As per the revised guidelines, the industrial and construction activity will be allowed in rural and semi urban areas covering more than 20 districts but not in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune Metropolitan Region which comes under the red zone.
The industry and developer will have to make residential arrangement for workers on the site if they come in red or yellow zone. In case of districts not heavily affected by COVID-19, the industrial unit and developer will have to make transportation arrangements,’’ said another bureaucrat.
Maharashtra Legislative Council Deputy Chairman Neelam Gorhe said she had communicated many times to the state government with an appeal to provide a much needed financial help to building and other construction workers. “I expect the government will soon announce decision so that these workers get the money soonest,’’ added Gorhe.