Fraud in registration of construction workers, filing of chargesheet ordered
Following complaints of fraud in the registration of construction workers, the Punjab Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board has directed assistant labour commissioner (ALC) to file a chargesheet against the erring officials involved in the registration of fake workers to reap the benefits under the medical assistance scheme.punjab Updated: Feb 03, 2015 19:36 IST
Following complaints of fraud in the registration of construction workers, the Punjab Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board has directed assistant labour commissioner (ALC) to file a chargesheet against the erring officials involved in the registration of fake workers to reap the benefits under the medical assistance scheme.
"The Punjab Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board has ordered the assistant labour commissioner of Sangrur to file a chargesheet against district labour inspector (grade-I) Kewal Krishan and others involved in the fake registration of workers," sources informed the Hindustan Times.
On September 9, last year, the police had arrested one Gurmeet Singh for allegedly selling red books (identity cards of workers) having signatures of labour inspector (then grade II) Kewal Krishan. The police also seized 37 red books from his possession. Sangrur ALC SK Bhoriwal admitted that his office had seized 37 copies with the signature of the then labour inspector grade II. It is worth mentioning here that Kewal Krishan had recently got promotion as labour inspector (grade I).
Sources in the labour department disclosed that in May last year, the deputy commissioner's office had also sought financial aid for the medical assistance of several construction workers, without prior approval of the chief medical officer (CMO). Putting a question mark over the authenticity of the medical claims of about Rs 3.64 crore for construction workers, made by former ALC via the deputy commissioner's office in July last year, present ALC SK Bhoriwal had written a letter (letter no. 600, dated November 14, 2014, to the secretary of the board demanding verification of the registered workers before disbursement of the payment.
In the letter, the ALC also demanded a probe, why the bills of about Rs 15 lakh were submitted without approval of the CMO.
"After the complaints, the board has stopped the payment until the verification of the workers is completed," said Sucha Singh, deputy secretary of the board adding, "But the CMO's approval is must for the medical claims of the workers."
Also, the documents accessed by the Hindustan Times revealed that a number of beneficiaries were not matching with the entry register of the ALC office.
After repeated attempts, the deputy commissioner, who had assured a probe into the matter, could not be contacted. ALC Bhoriwal refused to comment, saying, "I am not aware of anything. Earlier, I was busy in the CM's sangat darshan, now my health is not well."
Worried about the lackadaisical attitude of the government against erring officials, a social welfare trust centre of social change and equity has also filed a complaint with the Patiala vigilance bureau for a fair probe in the matter.