The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), has slammed the Haryana government for non-utilisation of funds on welfare of construction workers despite the existence of schemes and availability of eligible workers.
In its latest report tabled in Haryana Assembly, the CAG revealed that an amount of Rs 2,535.94 Crore was received by the Haryana Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board during 2007-17 on account of cess, registration and membership fee, out of which only Rs 224.31 Crore (Nine per cent of the total receipt) was utilised by the Board on administrative expenses, welfare schemes etc.
The CAG said that the Board did not only utilise 91 per cent of the total available funds up to March 2017 but also failed to launch an effective communication campaign which was clear from the meagre funds utilised on publicity as a result of which construction workers were not aware about various welfare schemes.
Not only this, the CAD also mentioned that in five schemes including “Advance for Purchase or Construction of House”, “Financial Assistance for Family Pension”, “Free Travelling Facility for Visiting Religious or Historical Places”, “Free Travelling Facility for Visiting Home-Town and “Financial Assistance for Solar Lantern”, commenced between March 2005 and January 2016, no worker was ever benefitted and the expenditure was nil as of 31 March, 2017.
Further, it says that in other five schemes namely “Financial Assistance for Maternity”, “Financial Assistance for Marriage of Son”, “Disability Pension of Disability Assistance”, “Financial Assistance for Treatment of Chronic Disease” and “Financial Assistance to the Physically Disabled or Mentally Retarded Children”, commenced between March 2005 and July 2014, merely 2510 workers were benefitted and an expenditure of only Rs 2.63 Crore was incurred up to March 2017.
In November 2006, the Haryana government had constituted the Haryana Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Board to carry out welfare schemes for construction workers and in February 2007, levied labour cess at the rate of one per cent in accordance with the requirement of the Cess Act.
The cess so collected was required to be spent on various schemes for welfare of building and other construction workers.