Minister of Finance, Labour and Employment, Dr Haseeb A Drabu Tuesday approved Rs 78 crore welfare budget for 2015-16 for construction workers employed in both government and private sector in the state.
The Finance Minister also approved a slew of measures to ensure safety and skill upgradation of workers while chairing a meeting of J&K Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board here, an official spokesman said.
Terming construction workers as an important pillar of state's evolving infrastructure, Dr Drabu said the state government is committed for their individual and family welfare.
Of Rs 78 crore set for welfare of workers, Rs 35 crore have been earmarked for Education assistance, Rs 25 crore for marriage assistance, Rs 1.5 crore for medical assistance including aid for chronic diseases and Rs 5 crore for compensation in case of death.
The total budget of the board will be Rs 81.95 crore that will include Rs 3.80 crore administrative expenditure.
The Finance Minister called for strict implementation of safety norms for construction workers. He set a target of zero accidental deaths of construction workers in both government and private sector. "Do not compromise on safety of workers. Make employers and workers to abide by safety rules like wearing helmets, luminescent jackets, rubber boots etc," said Dr Drabu. "There should be zero deaths in avoidable accidents at construction sites."
For safety measures the meeting approved a budget of Rs 1 crore. An amount of Rs 75 lakhs was also set for awareness of schemes so that more workers register themselves with the board. The Finance Minister asked the board to start an aggressive awareness campaign targeting the construction workers and their families. "All these schemes and money is meant for welfare of construction workers and their family members and its objective won't be met unless the workers are made aware of its benefits," said Dr Drabu.
Stressing on the use of Information Technology, the Finance Minister asked the board to digitize the entire record of workers registered with them. The meeting approved handheld devices for supervisors so that they will be able to collect the data of workers right at the construction site.
The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Finance Navin Choudhary, Commissioner Secretary Labour and Employment Shailendra Kumar, CEO J&K Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board Nissar Hussain and other board members.