Uttar Pradesh Board spent 3-7 per cent funds on workers

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  At a time when lakhs of migrant workers are facing hardship, a CAG report found that the Building and Construction Workers (BOCW) Board utilised only three to seven per cent of available funds on welfare of workers covering just six to 15 per cent of the registered workers in Uttar Pradesh.

Only 2.70 lakh of the 48.5 lakh registered construction workers in Uttar Pradesh got benefit while a meagre Rs 175 crore of the total available fund of Rs 5,079 crore was spent in 2018-19, the report said.

Pointing towards lax approach, the financial watchdog noted that the Board was yet to finalise accounts since its inception in 2009. The authenticity of receipts and expenditure could not be ascertained in audit, it added.

The UP government had issued (August 2013 and September 2016) orders to deposit the receipts of cess collected by the officials concerned into the Nationalised Bank account being operated by the Board for this purpose.  

“Consequently, it is not ascertainable from the Accounts of State Government how much money was collected by the Cess Assessment Officers and Cess Collectors on account of cess, fee etc. and how much money was transferred to the Board,” said the CAG report.

Though the UP government notified various schemes and activities, including maternity benefits, pension, advances for purchase and construction of houses, funeral assistance,  for welfare of the construction workers from the BOCW Welfare Fund, the report clearly indicated that only a marginal number of registered workers got benefit of the government schemes through the available funds in the state.

“The UP BOCW Welfare Board should fulfil its mandate of improving the working conditions of building and other construction workers and providing adequate financial assistance to them,” the CAG recommended in its report.

“The State Government should also review its orders to transfer the cess directly to the bank account of the Board instead of the Consolidated Fund of the State,” it added.

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