Two crore Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) received cash assistance of ₹4,957 crores during the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the Ministry of Labour & Employment said on Tuesday (June 23).
“In a significant move, the states governments, in response to the advisory dated 24th March, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Labour & Employment, have disbursed a substantial amount of ₹4,957 crore cash assistance till date to approximately two crore registered construction workers across the country during the lockdown,” a labour ministry statement said.
About 1.75 crore transactions were done directly into the bank accounts of the workers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). Apart from cash benefits ranging from ₹1,000 to ₹6,000 per worker during the lockdown, some of the states have also provided food and ration to workers.
The Ministry of Labour & Employment is the nodal central ministry to coordinate with all the state governments and state welfare boards in the matter of welfare of the construction workers.
The ministry noted that it has left no stone unturned in ensuring timely cash transfers to them, when they needed it the most.
The building and other construction workers are the most vulnerable segment of the unorganised 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, it added.