AHEAD OF assembly polls, the Maharashtra government has set up a welfare board for sugarcane workers named after late BJP leader Gopinath Munde to extend the social security benefits like Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), among others. However, officials from the Labour department are concerned about its sustainability as funding remains an issue.
The Labour department formed the board and appointed Keshavrao Andhale as chairman last week. “Details about its functioning will be decided soon on the advice of the chairman,” said an official.
The official further said the idea behind setting up the board is to provide financial security and improve standard of living of sugarcane workers. Around 8 lakh cane workers are engaged in sugarcane cutting, harvesting and transportation in 188 cooperative and private sugar factories in the state, added the official. “We have asked around Rs 140 crore from the government for various welfare scheme for the cane workers. But, a board can function effectively only if it has its own source of income…” said an official.
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