Real Estate

Use cess funds to support construction workers, Centre tells States

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 24, 2020

Representative image   -  Getty Images/Manu_Bahuguna

The Labour Ministry on Tuesday advised States and Union Territories to use their cess funds to provide relief to construction workers.

As on date, about ₹52,000 crore is deposited in the cess funds across States and UTs, set up under the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare (BOCW) Cess Act, 1996. About 3.5 crore workers are registered with State Construction Welfare Boards.

States and UTs will likely take a call on how much money will be transferred to each worker.

Due to the lockdown in 32 States and UTs, construction activities have come to standstill, hitting hard the daily labourers engaged in these activities.

According to a Labour Ministry statement, Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar issued an advisory on Tuesday to all Chief Ministers and Lt Governors, directing them to transfer funds to construction workers’ bank accounts via DBT (direct benefit transfer) from the cess funds collected by the labour welfare boards of the respective States and UTs.

The BOCW Cess Act, 1996, provides for the levy and collection of cess at 1-2 per cent of the cost of construction, as the Central government may notify. The cess has been levied at the rate of 1 per cent of the cost of construction, as notified by the Central government in its official gazette.

The cess is collected by the State governments and UTs and utilised for the welfare of building and other construction workers by the respective State Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Boards.

Published on March 24, 2020

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