In one of the firsts, the State government has decided to consider Mahatma Gandhi National Rrural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) workers and other labourers under the category of construction labourers and is offering them Ambedkar Helping hand scheme. The Labour Department has implemented Ambedkar Helping Hand scheme to mark the 75th anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar serving as the Labour Minister. The NREGA workers have to just register their names as construction workers in the local Karmika Bandhu office by paying Rs 125 to be the beneficiaries of the scheme, reports Kannada Prabha.
Several schemes are already existing for the construction workers and the same will be extended to NREGA and other labourers. The number of labourers expected to register is 20 lakh. A special registration initiative to identify and register and provide Smart Cards to the labourers has been inaugurated. The labourers must register at the local Karmika Bandhu by submitting copies of Aadhaar card, Voter ID card, Bank Passbook, land or mobile phone numbers and a letter to certify that he or she has been working for 90 days in any of the construction project. To register as a construction worker, copies of wage certificate, attendance document, employer’s letter, certificate from registered Trade Union, Muster Roll copy from Gram Panchayat and a passport size photo must be submitted. Construction workers must produce a certifying letter from an officer from any one of the following institutions: CREDAI, Builders' Association of India, Contractors' Association of India or any officer from the Labour Department, reports Kannada Prabha.
Labour and Skill Development Minister Santosh Lad said registration process has already started with 50,000 registered in Ballari. The current budget allocation for the scheme is Rs 6,000 crore. The benefits for the registered workers include Smart Card under Ambedkar Helping Hand, LPG connection and two cylinder refill free per year, skill training certificate and tool kit, free bus pass for workers' children and scholarship every year, Rs 2 lakh help for housing, pension of Rs 60,000, Karmika Lakshmi Bond of Rs 30,000 for girl child, and Rs 20,000 for male child, untimely death compensation of Rs 5 lakh to family and newly married woman gets Karmika Griha Lakshmi Bond of Rs 50,000.
Besides, the scheme also provides annual scholarship is Rs 2,000 for primary education, Rs 3,000 for middle school, Rs 6,000 for high school, for PUC Rs 6000 to Rs 8000, for ITI training Rs 7000, for degree Rs 10,000, for engineering Rs 20,000 (for admission Rs 25,000) for medical education Rs 25,000 (for admission Rs 30,000) higher education Rs 10,000 (for admission Rs 20,000) and for doctoral research Rs 20,000.
In the first phase, registration campaign will be taken up in 12 districts: Ballari, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalakot, Gadag, Davanagere, Chitradurga and Yadagir. The Labour Department had identified 2.73 lakh construction workers between 2008 and 2013. Of them around 1.85 lakh beneficiaries were provided facilities in Rs 179.80 crore. Between 2013 and 2017 in 4 years 8.34 lakh labourers have registered. Another 10 lakh workers are expected to register. Now NREGA labourers are also being included in the scheme. According to the figures available with the Labour Department, 20,000 lakh workers are under NREGA project and they will be brought under the scheme. The Labour Department has ear marked Rs 6,000 crores for this, the officials said.