Delhi Govt to Digitise Construction Workers Records
The Delhi government has issued directions to ensure that all records of construction workers in the city are digitised for ease of registration in the welfare fund, which involves filing and verification of a list of documents and needs annual renewal.
Since January 2019, the application process for the welfare fund was made online and applicants started filing soft copies. But till 2018, they used to submit photocopied papers in the labour offices. So, the digitisation move is expected to reduce paper load and files in the offices and also ensure ease of registration in the welfare fund which requires verification. Digital records are convenient for reference. It will speed up the process.
Being registered in the fund entitles construction workers to certain benefits — such as financial assistance for medical emergencies, death, marriages and education of children. The welfare fund came into focus during the lockdown that was imposed on March 25 to arrest the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and led to mass loss of jobs in construction and several other sectors. In Delhi, the board started disbursing ₹5,000 per month to the bank accounts of all workers enrolled under it during the lockdown.
The government had then paid the registered workers Rs 5,000 each for three months during the lockdown. Construction workers — including plumbers and electricians employed in the construction sector, painters, those specialising in laying tiles, security guards at sites and those working on drainage systems, among others — aged between 18 and 60 years are eligible for registration under the scheme. To avail the programme, they need an official photo identity card, a bank account number, residential proof in Delhi and proof that they have worked in the construction sector for at least 90 days in 12 months prior to the registration.
According to estimates of labour union bodies in the Capital, there are around 1 million construction workers. Government records, however, showed that more than 60,000 workers had registered for the welfare fund already.