ANBOCWWB schemes: A boon for construction workers in isles

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
13 Nov 2018

With the Andaman and Nicobar Islands witnessing fast development in all sectors, the UT Administration is taking effective measures to ensure safety, health and welfare of a massive population engaged in the construction industry. Since inception under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1998 and rules for A&N Islands framed in the year 2003 and in 2010/2014 and 2015 with subsequent amendments to include various welfare schemes, the Andaman and Nicobar Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (ANBOCWWB) presently has over 15,000 registered workers and disbursed financial assistance to the tune of several lakhs to beneficiaries over the years.
“The primary objective of the Board is to register the construction workers working in different capacities like labourers, Mason, Welder, Drivers, Helpers etc, frame welfare schemes for them and to provide them financial benefits under such schemes. The mission of the Board is to uplift the living standards of the construction workers and their family members by providing them basic amenities and adequate welfare measures after enrolling them as beneficiaries with the Board and providing them benefits by way of direct transfer into their bank accounts, under various welfare schemes of the board in a very transparent and efficient manner. Any worker doing any building and other construction work in these islands including those working under the MNREGA scheme of the government are eligible to register themselves with the Board. Registration is simple and a construction worker can become member of the board by submitting the requisite application form along with documents and registration fee of Rs 20,” informed Mr Madhusudan  Baidya, Labour Commissioner and Secretary of the Board.
“The constitution of the Board is one of the pioneer steps towards ensuring welfare of construction workers in these islands which has been constituted to regulate and implement welfare schemes for the benefit of beneficiaries. The Board also conducts special drives at regular intervals for registration of the labourers in different parts of these islands besides motivating them to avail benefits of several welfare schemes of the Board. All schemes formulated under the Act are meant to benefit the labour force which plays a pivotal role in the development of this country. I urge all eligible workers to come forward and register with the Board and avail benefits of the schemes. The Board has adequate corpus generated from civil projects executed by different agencies including different departments of the administration, Central government agencies and private builders which contribute 1 percent cess levied and collected for every project to the Board,” says Mr Baidya.
Under the scheme for educational assistance, registered construction worker’s son or daughter pursuing education from Class I to 12, Diploma or Graduation, vocational training, PG courses are eligible to get the financial assistance from the Board. Those pursuing education from Class 1 to 5, Class 6 to 8, Class 9 to 12, Diploma/Graduate studies, Vocational Training through ITI, Post Graduate Studies are eligible to get Rs 300, Rs 400, Rs 700, Rs 900, Rs 900 and Rs 2000 per month, while the Board bears the entire cost of study of children of registered workers pursuing MBBS/BE/Professional Course for meritorious students depending on a case to case basis subject to approval of Andaman & Nicobar Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. Any registered construction worker is also eligible to get an amount of Rs 20,000 per child as assistance to meet the marriage expenses of the worker or his/her two dependent children.
Women employees who are registered beneficiary for a period of one year are entitled for an amount of Rs 20000/- as maternity benefit during the period of maternity, while male employees who are registered beneficiary for a period of one year and whose wife is 19 years or more and not a registered beneficiary shall also be given a sum of Rs.10,000 as maternity benefit. An amount of Rs 1000 per month is also provided as pension benefit to beneficiaries registered with the Board. Under the Disability Assistance scheme, Secretary of the Board can sanction an amount not exceeding 25% of the total amount of compensation due, as calculated under Employees Compensation Act 1923 on production of certificate from competent medical authorities in respect of percentage of disability along with application for grant of assistance in Form W along with last pay slip age proof. The Secretary of the Board is also authorised to sanction tool kits not exceeding Rs.10,000 to the registered Construction Worker or their two children under Skill Development Assistance.
For medical assistance, the Board provides Rs 200 for the first five days of treatment, Rs 5000 for the remaining days subject to maximum, Rs 1000 to the beneficiary or dependent in case of emergency treatment (once in a year), Rs 600 for inter-island referral cases and Rs 1 lakh for referral treatment in mainland. Besides funeral assistance of Rs 5000, the Board also extends Rs 1 lakh as compensation for natural deaths and Rs 2 lakh in cases of accidental death.