FinMin approves Rs 78-crore welfare budget for construction workers

SRINAGAR: Minister of Finance, Labour and Employment, Dr Haseeb A Drabu Tuesday approved Rs 78-crore welfare budget for 2015-16 for construction workers employed in govt and private sectors in the state.
While chairing the meeting of J&K Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board here, the finance minister, as per an official handout issued here, also approved a series of measures to ensure safety and skill development of workers
Terming construction workers as an “important pillar of state’s evolving infrastructure”, Dr Drabu said, “The state government is committed for their individual and family welfare.”
Of the Rs 78 crore set for welfare of workers, Rs 35 crore have been earmarked for education assistance, Rs 25 crore for marriage assistance, Rs 1.5 crore for medical assistance including aid for chronic diseases, and Rs 5 crore for compensation in case of death.
The total budget of the board will be Rs 81.95 crore, which will include Rs 3.80 crore administrative expenditure.
The finance minister called for strict implementation of safety norms for construction workers. He set a target of “zero accidental deaths” of construction workers in government and private sector.
“Do not compromise on safety of workers. Make employers and workers to abide by safety rules like wearing helmets, luminescent jackets, and rubber boots,” he said. “There should be zero deaths in avoidable accidents at construction sites.”
For the safety measures, the meeting approved a budget of Rs 1 crore. An amount of Rs 75 lakh was also set for awareness of schemes so that more workers register themselves with the board. Drabu asked the board to start an aggressive awareness campaign targeting the construction workers and their families.
“All these schemes and money is meant for welfare of the construction workers and their family members, and its objective won’t be met unless the workers are made aware of its benefits,” said Drabu.