The Supreme Court is monitoring the implementation of the social welfare act for construction workers.
The Supreme Court today termed the collection of Rs 27,000 crores by state governments for the welfare of construction workers, as "ridiculous", because the bulk of the funds lie unused, while the remaining are spent on administration and advertisement, rather than the most vulnerable section in India's unorganised labour sector.
The Social Justice Bench hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by an NGO, said, "Thousands of crores are collected but money is spent on advertisement and administration. The money for poor is used by some babus. It is ridiculous"
The Court is monitoring the implementation of the social welfare act, and it had earlier directed all the states to set up a board to frame and implement welfare schemes for the benefit of construction workers.
As per the 1996 law, one per cent of the cost of all government construction is to be collected as cess by states, to spend on the welfare of construction workers. The Court was informed that Rs 27,000 crore has been collected by the states so far.
Till now, Rajasthan has spent only Rs 65.44 crore from the collected fund of Rs 898.3 crore, UP has spent Rs 195 crore from 1671 crore and Delhi has spent 39.72 crore from 1448 crore.
Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Uday U Lait said, "It is amazing what is going on? States are not doing anything and showing administrative expenditure and publicity. This has to stop immediately."
The Court directed the Delhi government to return the Rs 2.69 crore spent on advertisements from the welfare fund. This amount was spent on advertisement from 2005 to March this year.
The Uttar Pradesh government has been directed to submit the list of beneficiaries with addresses, which will be verified by the Court.
The Court has also directed the union labour secretary to coordinate with state governments and submit the plan for utilising the funds. The Court will take up the case on September 4.