The Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board has decided to cancel bogus labour cards and remove expired cards after which various welfare schemes of the board will be released only through Aadhaar-based DBT as per instructions of the Government of India and the Manipur government by December 2022.
Addressing a press meet on Thursday at the office chamber of chairperson of Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board (MBOCWWB) chairperson Saratkumar said that there are about 1,93,000 construction labourers holding labour cards at present which is an unrealistic figure.
In order to ensure that the benefits given by the board reaches the actual beneficiaries, it is very important to first remove all the bogus registrations. Therefore, the board has decided to cancel all inactive, expired and bogus labour cards as per provision of Building and Other Construction Workers' (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, he said.
Meanwhile, an unregistered and unrecognised union called 'Valley and Hill Labour Union’ has made certain accusations at the Manipur Building and Other Constructions Workers' Welfare Board regarding steps taken by the Board to cancel inactive and bogus labour cards and non-delivery of benefits to the card holders.
"It is quite unfortunate that the said group has gone directly to the media without even making an attempt to discuss their grievances with me or officials of the board," said Saratkumar.
The union or group is reportedly not a registered or recognized labour union and therefore, their motive is highly questionable, he said.
Saratkumar said that the union or group has criticized the board for taking steps to cancel inactive and expired labour cards. So, Saratkumar clarified that since the board has not received any formal representation or complaint on the matter, it will go ahead with the cancellation process.
And also, the benefits under various welfare schemes of the board will be released only through Aadhaar-based DBT as per instructions of government of India and government of Manipur, he said. Aadhaar seeding of bank accounts is being done presently which will be completed very soon. Pending release of benefits will most likely be started by December, 2022, the chairman added.
The chairperson assured that any action taken by the board is meant for the welfare of construction workers. The board will not take any action which will adversely affect or harass the actual construction workers, he assured.
The board urges any labour card holder who is not a construction worker to voluntarily surrender their labour cards so that the benefits meant for construction workers reaches the actual beneficiaries, the chairman said.
The board also appealed to all the labour unions to support the progressive action taken by the board for the welfare of all construction workers of the state.