The Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996, provides levy and collection of cess at such rate not exceeding two per cent but not less than one per cent of the cost of construction as the Central Government may notify. The cess has been levied and being collected at the rate of 1% of the cost of construction as notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.
The cumulative total of the amount of cess collected by the States/ UTs upto 20.12.2016, at the rate of 1% of the cost of construction is Rs. 31694 crore of which Rs. 6866 crore has been spent.
Universal Account Number (UAN) allotted to construction workers is over 50 lakhs as on 17.01.2017.
The Government has enacted the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 and the Building and other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996 to regulate the employment and conditions of service of building and other construction workers and to provide for their safety, health and welfare measures.
The State Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Boards of the respective states have formulated welfare schemes to provide benefits to building and other construction workers as mandated under Section 22 of the Act. Section 22 of the Act stipulates following benefits:
(a) provide immediate assistance to a beneficiary in case of accident;
(b) make payment of pension to the beneficiaries who have completed the age of sixty years;
(c) sanction loans and advances to a beneficiary for construction of a house not exceeding such amount and on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed;
(d) pay such amount in connection with premia for Group Insurance Scheme of the beneficiaries as it may deem fit;
(e) give such financial assistance for the education of children of the beneficiaries as may be prescribed;
(f) meet such medical expenses for treatment of major ailments of a beneficiary or, such dependent, as may be prescribed;
(g) make payment of maternity benefit to the female beneficiaries; and
(h) make provisions and improvement of such other welfare measures and facilities as may be prescribed.