Construction workers may get pan-India card, pension, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

June 27, 2023

The government could introduce a pan-India card for construction workers and revamp the building and other construction workers (BOCW) scheme to enhance its coverage and use its funds for wider social security coverage including a pension scheme, a senior official said.

“The huge corpus available under BOCW fund can be utilised to finance social security of millions of unorganised workers,” the official told ET. “However, the current scheme does not allow portability between workers and benefits.”

An internal committee has been set up in the Ministry of Labour and Employment to look into the restructuring of the scheme to enhance coverage and allow portability of benefits to workers, especially migrant workers, the official said.

As part of the revamp, the ministry is considering doing away with a mandatory requirement of working for 90 days to avail the benefits. It also plans to simplify registration, renewal and other processes involved while enrolling under the scheme so that all construction workers are brought into its fold, the official said.

Under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996, state governments through their state welfare boards are mandated to frame and implement schemes for safety, health and welfare of construction workers.

Currently, different states have different eligibility conditions for availing benefits under the BOCW scheme, making it virtually impossible for migrant workers in the construction sector to enrol under the scheme.

The BOCW fund comprises 1% cess on construction cost of all infrastructure projects, by government or private sector. It is levied and collected by states and remitted to the welfare fund.

Currently, states have in excess of ₹40,000 crore unutilised funds under the scheme. The state governments have so far collected over ₹78,000 crore under the BOCW cess scheme, out of which nearly 38,000 crore have been spent.

  • Published On Jun 27, 2023 at 05:00 PM IST

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