The labour commissioner is in discussion with the state government to include migrant labourers in Kerala building and other construction workers’ welfare board entitling them to benefits of a board member, which will be a better alternative to the Rs 50 crore allocations to a special welfare fund for migrant labourers in the construction sector as proposed by the finance minister in the state budget.
The labour commissioner, Alexander, said that the construction board had enough funds to allocate Rs 50 crore to set up insurance schemes for the migrant labourers from the existing the corpus fund, which is around Rs 1,000 crore.
“One of the bigger problems identified by experts and academics in the field is that lack inclusion of migrant labourers into the state systems. Inclusion into the welfare board will come with several benefits for migrant labourers, including representation under a singular board that represents construction workers from the state as well,” he added.
Being members of the board will entitle workers to various schemes to cover them under accident benefits, diseases benefits, life insurance, pension and pension for dependants. “It is still in the discussion stage. However, we have decided that if it is dismissed, then the labour department will proceed with setting up welfare scheme for them worth Rs 50 crore,” Alexander said.
“Technically they can still join the board but ensure it is important and for that, we need the government’s and the board’s approval first. One issue is that several employers have to take the initiative to enrol the workers from various states into the board. Another problem here is that there are several such boards in different parts of the country and if they are registered members of other boards then they would be entitled to the benefits of both boards,” he added.
Source: Times of India