State govt to unveil new labour policy soon

The State government is planning a new labour policy by the end of 2015, according to D S Vishwanath, Commissioner, Department of Labour.

If implemented, Karnataka would become the first State to have a such a labour policy, he added.

Speaking after inaugurating the conclave on ‘Convergence – Initiatives of Labour Department with Builders’ organised in the City on Tuesday, he said, “Focus would be on providing minimum wages to the labourers, health and social security, work place facilities, security to female labourers. We will also have discussions with various groups that have employed labourers and take their opinion into consideration,” he added.

About Rs 3 crore SES funds has been collected. The funds however have remained unutilised for the past six years. It has been proposed that said funds would be utilised in setting up houses, providing health facilities and training programmes for labourers.

Health assurance

The Central government's Rashtriya Swasthya Bhima Yojana would soon be extended to construction labourers, Vishwanath said.

“It was discussed that there is a need to give health security to construction labourers and their families. We will write to the Union government regarding the same. Soon after approval, they would be entitled to benefit from the scheme,” he added.

There are as many as six lakh construction labourers in the State. They have been issued ID cards. However, details about their blood groups and parents have not been mentioned in these ID cards. Soon, we will replace the it with Photo ID cards that have their finger prints, blood group and other important details. With this, they can also avail health benefits, Vishwanath added.

As many as 42 groups have been identified in the unorganised work sector. One among these groups is the domestic workers.

ID cards have been proposed for them too. There are an estimated 80,000 domestic workers, he said. Towards this, a census of all the workers will be undertaken and they will be issued smart cards. This will help the employers too in verifying the background of domestic workers. For the workers, it would be beneficial for them to carry an ID card if they are returning home late at night.

K L Mohan Rao, president, Builder's Association, said “As per the rules for minimum wages, that ought to be provided, monthly wages of Rs 6,000 is being given to all labourers. Since there is acute shortage of manpower here, labourers are roped in from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh.”

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