State governments owe us explanation
It is extremely disconcerting that state governments have allowed the cess collected in the name of providing relief to construction workers to go unused, despite provisions to benefit labourers being in place. Latest reports by the ministry of labour and employment have established that barring Kerala, all other state governments have been hoarding the tax collected from builders to provide benefits to construction workers and have spent absolutely nothing to relive the poor labourers from the acute misery. In stark contrast to labour laws, the governments allowed hundreds of crores collected as the one per cent cess from the building magnets to rot in the public treasury, without putting them to any good use. Despite implementing the legislation to help building and other construction workers – Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service Act, 1996 and the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996 – the states have done next to nothing for the welfare of the poor immigrants and the daily wage labourers who get employment as construction workers all over the country. It is doubly disheartening to see the burgeoning growth of the urban centres and the surrounding suburbs, when compared with the utter neglect and apathy to which the hands that make it possible are subjected to. Evidently, our cities are becoming inhumane monstrosities.