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West Bengal Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board
The Government has established the West Bengal Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board as per the Act for administering the benefits under the scheme and all matters connected with the administration of the West Bengal Building & Other Construction workers' Welfare Fund. The Board is a corporate body. The Hon'ble MIC, Labour is the Chairman of the Board. Besides the Welfare Commissioner, Govt. of India, the Board consists of five members each from employers, workers and Government. The Secretary of the Board is the Chief Executive Officer of the Board, who is appointed by the Board with the prior approval of the State Government. As per the Act and Rules, the Govt. has constituted the State Advisory Committee and an Expert Committee for advising the Board and the State Government for policy matters and making Rules under the Act. The services of all Regional Assistant Labour Commissioners, West Bengal under the Labour Directorate, Govt. of West Bengal are placed on partial deputation to the Board. They will also act as Beneficiary Registering Officer under the Board in their respective jurisdiction.
Every building worker within the age limit of 18 to 60 years and who has worked for not less than 90 days during the preceding 12 months shall be eligible for registration as a beneficiary under this Act. An application in Form XXVII as well as in Form XXXI along with necessary documents and a one time registration fee of Rs.20/- is required. Along with it trimonthly contribution of Rs.60/- (monthly Rs.20/-) is also to be deposited against which a receipt will be issued by the office. The respective Bank branches will make a yearly transfer to a consolidated account. If a beneficiary fails to give his monthly contribution for a continuous period of one year he/ she shall cease to be a beneficiary under this Act. However the Secretary of the Board on receipt of an application can allow the worker to continue as beneficiary on payment of all arrear dues. But such facility can be availed of by a worker at the most twice in his whole period of enrolment. The Beneficiary Registering Officer shall maintain a Register of Identity Cards in Form XXIX and a register in Form XXX. Every employer is duty bound to file returns in Form XXXII and Form XXXIII to the Secretary of the Board.
A registered beneficiary is eligible for the following benefits under the Scheme:-
(a) Assistance to a beneficiary in case of accident - On an application in form XXXIV a beneficiary is entitled to a financial assistance in case of hospitalization due to accident for five of more days up to a maximum amount of Rs. 5,000/-. In case of disability due to accident the Board may sanction up to a maximum amount of Rs. 25,000/-.
(b) Payment of Death Benefit - On an application in form XXXV, the Board may sanction an amount of Rs. 100,000/- to the nominees or dependent of the beneficiary as death benefit if the death is due to an accident during the course of employment . The nominee or dependent of the beneficiary may get upto Rs.30,000/ in other cases.
(c) Pension Benefit - On application in Form XXXVII a beneficiary registered for at least five years is entitled to pension on completion of sixty years of age at the minimum rate of Rs.500/-per month and maximum rate of Rs.770/- per month.
(d) Medical Expenses for treatment of beneficiary or his / her dependent - On application in Form XI, the Board may sanction upto a maximum amount of Rs.5,000/- per annum as medical expenses for the treatment of beneficiary or his / her dependents suffering from Cancer, Heart disease, Kidney disease,T.B., Eye disease and Nerve disease. For leprosy a one time grant of Rs.2,000/- may be given. For operation of diseases in case of Heart, Kidney etc. the Board may sanction a maximum amount of Rs. 25,000/-.
(e) Maternity benefit to a female beneficiary - On application in Form XII, a female beneficiary registered for one year shall be given a financial benefit of Rs.3000/- during the period of maternity subject to maximum two times in her whole life time.
(f) Financial Assistance for the education of the children of the beneficiary - A beneficiary registered for a continuous period of six months shall be entitled to get financial assistance for his / her children studying Higher Secondary and above, ranging from Rs. 2,000/- to Rs.15,000/-. This benefit can be availed of only twice by a single beneficiary.
(g) House Building Advance - A beneficiary registered continuously for five years and who will continue to be registered for 15 years shall be entitled to a refundable House Building Advance of Rs.50,000/- provided he has a land possessed by him for construction of his / her house.
Other welfare measures may be declared by the Board from time to time.
Every employer in relation to an establishment to which this Act applies shall within a period of sixty days from commencement shall make an application for registration in Form -I before the appropriate authority along with necessary fees in Treasury Challans. The structure of fees are Rs.500/- upto 100 workers; Rs.2,000/- for 100 to 500 workers and Rs. 10,000/- above 500 workers. The Registering Officer shall issue a certificate of Registration in Form -II within 15 days of making application and shall make necessary entries in the Register in Form-Ill. Every employer of a Registered Establishment shall send an annual return in Form XXV to the concerned Registering Officer. Every employer has also to send notice of commencement and completion of construction work to the respective Inspector. The designated officials of Labour Directorate, Govt. of West Bengal are entitled to take action against employers not abiding by the Act and Rules.
The health and safety measures as provided in the Act and Rules are to be administered by the Directorate of Factories and necessary actions are to be taken by the officials of that Directorate.
Till 31.03.2009, 71,984 beneficiaries have been registered and Rs.89,78,970/- have been collected as registration & subscription fees; 7,808 establishments have been registered and Rs.45,87,000/- have been collected as Establishment Registration Fees. Accidental benefits have been extended to 14 beneficiaries amounting to Rs.27,316/-; Medical benefits have been extended to 23 beneficiaries amounting to Rs. 1,33,153/-; Maternity benefits have been extended to 2 beneficiaries amounting to Rs.4,000/-; Educational Assistance benefits have been extended to 139 beneficiaries amounting to Rs. 1,77,500/ -; Death benefit have been extended to 27 nominees/dependants of beneficiaries amounting to Rs.3,30,000/-.Three accidental death benefits have been extended to their nominees amounting to Rs.90,000/-. In total till 31.03.09, 205 beneficiaries have received benefits amounting to Rs.6,71,969/-.
3 Prosecution cases in Siliguri and 1 case in Durgapur have been launched for violation of provisions of the Act & Rules.
An all -out effort has been made to popularize the scheme. Workshops were organized in all the districts involving trade unions, district officials, municipalities/ municipal corporations and Panchayat Representatives. As part of a special drive, all R.L.Os have been asked to organize special camps at block levels in consultation with elected representatives of respective areas, trade unions and bank officials for beneficiary registration. Necessary advertisements have been published in different newspapers in order to create all round awareness.