SC slams non-utilisation of workers' funds

SC slams non-utilisation of workers' funds

The Supreme Court on Friday described as “shameful and shocking” the non-utilisation of a whopping Rs 27,000 crore meant for the welfare of construction workers across the country.

A social justice bench comprising Justice M B Lokur and Justice U U Lalit said it was “ridiculous” that the money meant for the workers was spent on the ‘babus’ and advertisements by some state governments.

“It is simply shocking and amazing. It cannot get worse than this. This is a sorry state of affairs,” the bench said while expressing dissatisfaction over the replies filed by the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan on collection and utilisation of the amounts and the proposals for their utilisation.

The court directed the Union Labour Secretary to file an affidavit on how the Centre wanted to utilise the money.

“The money is not being used for the benefit of workers. It is being used for the ‘babus’. This is ridiculous. If we ask you to name 10 persons who have been benefitted, you will not be able to name them,” the bench said.

It was particularly harsh on the Delhi government for spending Rs 2.5 crore from the funds for advertisements.

“Why you are spending Rs 2.5 crore on advertisements? Give us the list of beneficiaries,” it said, adding “we are extremely disturbed that there are thousands of crores of rupees which are not being used for the purpose for which it was collected.” “We want to know as to what you propose to do with the money. You tell everything, except what we want to know,” it said.

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