The Maharashtra government has again reached out to nearly 10 lakh registered building and other construction workers and decided to pay Rs 3,000 each during the present coronavirus pandemic. This is the second instalment after it decided to provide Rs 2000 each in April.
Minister of Labour Dilip Walse-Patil said, “The Maharashtra Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board will spend Rs 300 crore and deposit Rs 3,000 each in the bank accounts of 10 lakh building and construction workers. These workers are registered with the board. These workers are facing hardships, since construction work has not yet resumed because of the pandemic.’’
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar have given their approval too. Walse-Patil said that the board had already deposited Rs 2,000 each in the bank accounts of 9,14,748 workers as of July. The total outgo was Rs 183 crore.
Initially, the government had proposed to pay Rs 5,000 each in two equal installments of Rs 2,500 to 10 lakh such workers. However, because of objections raised by few bureaucrats, it was later decided to pay only Rs 2,000 in April. Thereafter, the board was given approval and, accordingly, the money was deposited in the bank accounts of these workers.
Maharashtra Legislative Council Deputy Chairperson Dr Neelam Gorhe was one of the few who had made a strong case for the payment of money to building and other construction workers.
The government decision is in line with the Union Ministry of Labour’s advisory to states and union territories to transfer funds in the accounts of construction workers through DBT mode from the cess fund collected by the Labour Welfare Boards under the Building and Other Construction Workers Cess Act.