cess-fund-for-welfare-of-construction-workers

Recently, the Ministry of Labour & Employment has Issued an advisory to all States/UTs to use the Cess Fund for Welfare of Construction Workers.

Key Points

  • The advisory comes under Section 60 of the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act, 1996.
     
    • The Act regulates the employment and conditions of service of building and other construction workers.
    • It provides for their safety, health and welfare measures and for other matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • All State Governments/UTs have been advised to transfer funds from the Cess Fund to the account of construction workers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.
  • The amount to be granted to construction workers may be decided by the respective state governments and Union territories.
  • The financial assistance at this point in time would help to mitigate the financial crisis of construction workers to some extent and boost their morale to deal with COVID-19.
  • About the Cess Fund
     
    • The BOCW Cess Act, 1996, provides for the levy and collection of cess at 1-2 % of the cost of construction, as the Central government may notify.
    • The cess has been levied at the rate of 1% of the cost of construction, as notified by the Central government in its official gazette.
    • The cess is collected by the State governments and UTs.
    • It is utilised for the welfare of building and other construction workers by the respective State Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Boards.

Cess

  • Cess is a form of tax levied over and above the base tax liability of a taxpayer.
  • Cess is resorted to only when there is a need to meet the particular expenditure for public welfare.
  • Cess is not a permanent source of revenue for the government, and it is discontinued when the purpose of levying it is fulfilled.
  • It can be levied on both indirect and direct taxes.
  • Examples :
     
    • Swachh Bharat Cess: Introduced in 2015, a 0.5% Swachh Bharat cess was imposed to fund a national campaign for clearing the roads, streets and the infrastructure of India.
    • Infrastructure Cess: Announced in Union Budget 2016, this cess was charged on the production of vehicles.

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Labour Ministry Advisory To Use Cess Fund For Welfare Of Construction Workers

Source: PIB