Punjab govt makes online registration compulsory for labourers
Labourers will now have to use online registration facility for availing benefits of various labour schemes under the category of building and other construction workers (BOCW) in the state.
The Punjab labour department issued a circular on August 7, stating that registration of construction workers, online payment, the deposit of cess amount and registration of labour organisations would be done online through http://bocw.punjab.gov.in/ only. Now, there will be no manual registration with district labour departments.
The initiative has been taken to ensure transparency and accuracy in the distribution of services among beneficiaries. However, it is proving to be a tough task for workers, who are mostly uneducated and not tech-savvy.
The labour department has not created any awareness among labourers, who are already facing problems.
Sham Sunder, a labourer of Phagwara, said he visited the Kapurthala labour department office on Thursday to register get his brother registered as a mason with the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Board, but officials asked him to go for online registration.
“We are illiterate and not familiar with internet. Now, we will have to visit cyber cafes, which will charge hefty amount for registration,” he said. Meanwhile, registered NGOs volunteers feel that this directive will only promote duplicity in the registration process with BOCW Board. Vijay Walia, president of Centre for Social Change and Equity Organisation, said “Through the online process, it will not be possible for the labour department to verify whether someone has worked as a construction worker for 90 days in a year at one place.”
Meanwhile, the BOCW Board had received Rs 1029-crore cess amount till June 30. It has spent about Rs 496 crore under various welfare schemes and other administrative expenses among 6 lakh registered workers.
However, the estimated number of workers in the state is over 20 lakh.
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