Chandigarh Administration constitutes Welfare Board for unorganized workers

November 04, 2018 01:10 PM

Punjab News Express/Y.S.Rana
CHANDIGARH: Decks have been cleared. The Chandigarh administration at last has constituted welfare board for unorganized workers of the city. The board is consisting of 28 members drawn from various segments of the society.

According to the notification No 14070 dated September 12, 2018 from the Administrator of UT, Chandigarh states that the Board includes seven representatives each from the unorganized workers and employees of unorganized workers. Besides, seven members were included in the board from   Labour Department; Social Welfare Department; Estate Office; Food and Supply Department; Department of Industries, Tourism Department and the Education Department.   

It is also stated that it has also five eminent persons of city civil society and two members were taken from the elected members representing Chandigarh. The Labour Commissioner will be its chairman and the Member Secretary, State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), Chandigarh, will be special invitee.

It is also stated that Mr Anil Dubey, Councillor,Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh has also been included as a member of Chandigarh Unorganized Workers Social Security Board.

Notably, the domestic workers union and the SLSA have been demanding constitution of a welfare board for the unorganized workers so that they could avail the benefits of government welfare schemes. The Central Government had announced ESI benefits for domestic workers last year but Chandigarh has not taken initiative in enrolling the workers in the scheme in absence of constitution of the Board.

The Act was passed in 2008 and setting up of such board is mandatory but it took 10 years for the Chandigarh Administration to set up the Board. While the neighbouring state Punjab has already set up this board and compensation in case of deaths and health insurance are being given in Punjab through the board under the provisions of the Act. The government had identified 122 occupations in the unorganized sector.

According to the official data up to 2015, Chandigarh had collected Cell of Rs 64.49 lakh while Haryana collected Rs 18.59 crore; Punjab Rs 7.14 crore compared to Himachal Pradesh Rs 2.76 crore. Total Cess collection from construction activities accounted for approximately Rs one lakh crore. Chandigarh has workforce participation rates in rural area urban it is 35.4.   

With constitution of the Board, unorganized workers in Chandigarh looked forward access to the benefits of government welfare schemes such as health and maternity benefits, old age protection; provident fund; housing and emp0loyment injury benefits.  

Mr Mahavir Singh, Member Secretary, SLSA, Chandigarh said that delay in setting up the board, has not only deprived the unorganized workers of availing themselves benefits of government welfare schemes but also Cess collected from construction activities was either not being utilized for their welfare or diverted to some other funds.

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