The Centre has ordered State welfare boards for building and other construction workers (BOCW) not to distribute household and other articles to workers and instead stick to transferring monetary assistance into their bank accounts.
- The BOCW boards are meant to carry out welfare activities for workers from the cess on construction collected by States.
The building and other construction workers (BOCW) are the most vulnerable segment of the unorganized sector workers in India. They work under aggravating conditions with uncertain future. A large chunk of them are migrant labourers working in different states far away from their native places. They play a significant role in nation-building yet find themselves on the margins of the society.
About the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996:
- Enacted to regulate the employment and conditions of service of these workers and to provide for their safety, health and welfare measures.
- Under the Act, the State Governments through their State Welfare Boards are mandated to frame and implement welfare schemes for construction workers.
- The fund, under the legislation, comprises the Cess @1% of construction costs which is levied and collected by the State Governments and remitted to the Welfare Fund.
What is a cess?
- A cess is levied on the tax payable and not on the taxable income. In a sense, for the taxpayer, it is equivalent to a surcharge on tax.
- A cess can be levied on both direct and indirect taxes. The revenue obtained from income tax, corporation tax, and indirect taxes can be allocated for various purposes.
- The proceeds of all taxes and cesses are credited in the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), an account of the Government of India.