Jammu, Jan 9: Centre of Indian Trade Unions(CITU), J&K, while deliberating upon the contours of ‘MUHAFIZ SCHEME’ launched by J&K Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board(J&KBOCWWB) in collaboration with LIC of India and J&K Bank noted that fanfare regarding launching of the scheme for the welfare of workers of unorganized sector seems to be an eyewash, as the major components for benefits of the registered workers are almost already in vogue under the Act. This is not upto the mark of what the workers were expecting from the government. But on the contrary, there is some announcement only to increase the dwindling image of the labour department. This is simply politicking.
Om Prakash, General Secretary State CITU said that the meeting of the Advisory Board should have been convened where the union representatives would have given major suggestions for the welfare of the workers. But till date no such meeting has been held to debate the problems and issues of the workers. But the style of the government is that they make announcements and do not take workers Associations/Unions on the board. The workers unions/associations are virtually ignored for the simple reason to avoid making itself accountable before the workers. Castigating the Board for not implementing Section 22 of BOCW Act in totality,which provides for pensionary benefits for workers attaining 60 years of age and housing loan for the workers. No mention for enhancement of the maternity benefits, provision of health insurance and enhancement in the immediate assistance in case of accidents has been made in the new scheme.
Marriage assistance for the beneficiaries, mandatory under the Act has been stopped for last two years for reasons best known to the Board. Registration process has been made tedious whereby the genuine workers have to visit the ALC offices frequently, thus depriving them of daily earnings, as only two days have been fixed for registration in a week which delays the process.
General Secretary CITU demanded that pensionery benefits above 60 years, housing loan facility, health insurance cover, enhancement of maternity benefits, restoration of marriage assistance, hassle free registration and renewal process, besides other social security benefits be provided to the construction workers without any delay.