Covid-19: Maharashtra  Sanctions One-Time Payment To Registered Construction Workers
Labourers take a break on the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai. (Photographer: Adeel Halim/Bloomberg News)

Covid-19: Maharashtra Sanctions One-Time Payment To Registered Construction Workers

The Maharashtra government will provide assistance of Rs. 2,000 each to construction workers who are registered and active with the Maharashtra Building And Other Construction Worker’s Welfare Board. In late March, soon after India imposed a nation-wide lockdown, the central government had recommended states utilise funds collected as cess under the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996, to support construction workers who maybe out of work due to the lockdown.

The money will be transferred via direct bank transfer by the MBOCWB and this is going to benefit more than 12 lakh construction workers in the state, tweeted Dilip Walse Patil, Labour Minister, Maharashtra.

“The decision has been taken to help the construction workers who are facing financial difficulties owing to the lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak and stopping of the construction activity,” the minister said in another of his tweets.

MBOCWB has deposits to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, Mahendra Kalyankar, commissioner of labour for Maharashtra State told BloombergQuint.

This money has been collected from developers as cess for the welfare of construction workers.

“Rs 2,000 being deposited into the account of every construction labourer is a welcome assistance to these workers. BOCWB has taken the right decision as these labourers are stuck at various sites for last about one month and needed government assistance, though developers were doing their best to feed them and take care of their needs,” said Rajesh Prajapati, managing director of Prajapati Constructions Ltd. to BloombergQuint. The company has several projects in Navi Mumbai.

However, this one-time payment will benefit only those workers who are registered and active with the board. Several daily wage construction labourers who are not registered with the board will receive no money.

“We are happy that government has taken the decision to extend financial help for workers who are registered with BOCWB but in Maharashtra there are at least 1,50,000 construction workers who have not been able to get registered with the board and hence they will be left out,” Rajkumar Jaiswal, president of Maharashtra Building and General Labour Union said to BloombergQuint. “We have requested the labour department to help these un-registered workers also.”

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