CAG flags 'poor utilisation' of construct workers welfare fund in Delhi
The CAG has flagged ''poor utilisation'' of income by the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board for its mandated activities and a delay in payment of taxes leading to incurring of additional amount on interest that could have been spent on social security and welfare of labourers.
The Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board was constituted in September 2002 to collect cess and utilise the same for providing social security, health care, etc. to construction workers in Delhi.
The CAG report for year ending March 31, 2018, presented in the Assembly by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, stated the payment of Rs 97.64 crore as income tax and interest ''deprived'' the building and other construction workers from much-needed social security and other welfare measures.
Another audit report, also tabled in the Assembly, for the year ending March 2019 flagged that the Board did not prepare any long-term perspective plan or annual plan to ensure fulfilment of its mandated objectives. ''During the years 2002-19, the Board received Rs 3,273.64 crore as cess, interest on cess collected and registration fee out of which it spent only Rs 182.88 crore (5.59 per cent) on welfare of construction workers and the cess and fee collected along with interest had accumulated to Rs 2,709.46 crore as of March 2019,'' said the report.
Construction workers are required to be registered with the Board for availing benefits of the welfare schemes.
However, the Board did not conduct any survey for identification of construction workers in Delhi for improving the registration of number workers, it said. ''As of March 2019, only 17,339 (1.7 per cent) out of an estimated 10 lakh construction workers were registered with the Board, thereby depriving 98 per cent of the workers of the benefits of welfare schemes of the Board.'' Even in the case of registered workers, the benefits provided were limited as there was no outgo on six out of the 15 welfare schemes implemented by the Board, pointed the report.
The administrative expenses of the Board was also much in excess of the prescribed limit of five per cent of total expenditure, and was 14.42 per cent in 2016-17 and 12.20 per cent in 2018-19, it added.
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