Following the Supreme Court’s directions in March and May to prepare a model scheme for building and other construction (BOC) workers, the Labour and Employment Ministry has invited public comments on the draft model welfare scheme with benefits such as life and disability cover, health and maternity cover and pension.
As per the draft scheme, construction workers will be entitled to monthly pension of Rs 1,000 after 60 years and scholarships of Rs 3,000 per year for two children studying in class 9 to 12 and Rs 12,000 per year for children studying in ITIs, vocational courses, graduation and professional courses.
The pension benefit, however, will be subject to the condition of registering with the State Welfare Board for at least five years. Also, it will “need to be debated with the states as many states may not have the financial capacity to fund such a scheme”, the draft said.
The scheme also proposes bearing of hospital expenses up to Rs 5 lakh per family by the State Welfare Board, which would be done directly or via insurance companies under the National Health Protection Scheme. “There will be reimbursement of expenses up to Rs 2 lakh or so for serious diseases like cancer, kidney failure etc,” the draft said.
For female construction workers, minimum wages for 26 weeks will be provided for up to two pregnancies, it said, adding that medical expenses of wives of construction workers may be provided up to a certain prescribed limit by the State Welfare Board.
The draft scheme also proposes that 50 per cent of the total contribution of the premium under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and PRadhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana amounting to Rs 171 per worker per annum will be borne by the State Welfare Board while the remaining 50 per cent will be borne by the central government.
These schemes provide coverage of Rs 2 lakh for natural death and Rs 4 lakh for accidental death along with disabilities benefits.
The last date for sending suggestions is May 21. The scheme will be finalised after detailed discussion by the committee set up for this purpose and incorporating suggestions/feedback from all stakeholders, the draft said.
Benefits have also been proposed on the housing and skill development front. The draft said depending on the financial capacity of the Board, loans/advances may be provided subject to the ceiling of 10 per cent of the cess collected in a particular year. It also proposes construction of transit accommodation for migrant workers at sites provided by urban local bodies or state governments and run on rental basis.
The draft also suggests conducting skill development for not only the workers but also their dependents. Workers might be paid minimum wages, while dependents may get stipends during the training programme, it said.