Punjab and Haryana aid construction workers during Covid crisis
During the first Covid wave, the Punjab Government distributed Rs 174 crore to 2.90 lakh building and other construction workers, while the second Covid wave distributed Rs 87 crore to 5.81 lakh such workers.
On Tuesday, Minister of Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav gave the information in the Lok Sabha. According to reports, the Haryana government only distributed Rs 154 crore to 3.10 lakh such workers during the first Covid wave.
Similarly, during the first Covid wave, the Himachal Pradesh government distributed Rs 77 crore to 1.33 lakh building and other construction workers, and the UT Chandigarh administration distributed Rs 4 crore to 6,670 such workers.
The first Covid wave began in mid-February and peaked in the second week of May 2020. The second Covid wave began in mid-February and peaked in the second week of May.
Yadav told the media that in the face of a difficult situation caused by the outbreak of Covid-19, which has resulted in financial constraints among building and other construction workers.
The central government had issued a directive to states and union territories to draught a scheme under Section 22(1)(h) of the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 to transfer adequate funds into construction workers' bank accounts via Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
Construction, manufacturing, essential services, and public transportation were all exempt from the lockdowns imposed by state governments and district administrations and continued to operate normally.
In response to the first wave of Covid-19, the state and UT building and other construction workers welfare boards disbursed over Rs 5,618 crores through DBT to the bank accounts of 1.83 crore such workers across the country during the lockdown and afterwards, in addition to delivering food relief packages.