PF for unorganised sectors in West Bengal

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Barrackpore, Feb 28 (UNI) West Bengal Government disbursed death claims to the families of 87 workers, under the Provident Fund Scheme meant for the unorganised sector, at Belgharia here today.

Minister of State for Labour Anadi Kumar Sahu handed over the cheques to its beneficiaries during a workshop organised by the Labour department in North 24 Parganas district.

While addressing a workshop for the workers of unorganised sectors, Mr Sahu said, ''West Bengal is the only state in the country that had introduced provident fund scheme for the unorganised workers since 1998, with 10 lakh people being registered under the scheme in the state so far.'' The labour department also issued cheques, granting subsidy for house building to 92 ''Biri'' workers, seeking loans in the district with first recipient being Manju Biswas of Keotia village near Kankinara in of the district who received Rs 5000 from the minister.

The beneficiaries will be provided a loan of Rs 50,000 each for house building against an interest of five per cent per annum.

According to the 2001 census, at least 22 lakh workers were in the unorganised sectors, who could be provided all benefits.

Incidentally, more than 80 per cent of these people were unaware of the schemes that the state had introduced so far, including installing Welfare Fund for the purpose.

Besides the PF, the state government had also instituted a pension scheme for the construction workers, the minimum rate of which would soon be enhanced considering the revenue earning against cess.

The minister also announced that the state would recruit at least one Self-Employed Labour Organiser for each panchayet area in the state to augment regular collection of PF contribution of the beneficiaries, besides bringing the unregistered workers within its fold.

The department also introduced a new scheme to provide technical and other training for the job aspirants in 257 trades through 400 institutions earmarked for the purpose for which the department had made budget provision of Rs 10 crores for the next financial year, Mr Sahu added.

CPI(M) legislator and CITU leader Ranjit Kundu, however, claimed that the Centre has been introducing acts and reguations and asking the state governments to implement them, without providing them with the necessary financial support.

''This has resulted in financially overburdening the state governments,'' he added.

UNI XC LL GL GC1700

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