HP Cabinet approves law for construction workers

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Shimla, Nov 12 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today approved a labour law to ensure safety and welfare measures to the construction workers in the state.

The Cabinet in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, approved the Himachal Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Rules, 2008, which will be applicable to all establishments engaged in construction activities employing 10 or more workers undertaking construction including private buildings valued at over Rs 10 lakhs. All construction workers in the age group of 18 to 60 would be brought under the provisions of the Rules.

Under the act, a cess of one percent would be levied to undertake welfare activities of the workers and include benefits like pension, group insurance, financial assistance in case of accidents, major ailments, maternity benefit for female employees and loans for construction of houses and financial assistance for children's education etc and their working conditions would be regulated by competent authority to ensure safety of workers.

A State Welfare Board will be constituted to monitor the implementation of the Act.

The Cabinet also decided to constitute Forest Police Stations (Van Thanas) to keep strict vigil over the illicit felling and smuggling of the forest wealth.

All such Forest Police Stations shall be headed by a Block Officer supported by 5 to 6 forest guards and 3 to 4 forest workers.

They would conduct joint patrolling and function under the overall control of Forest Range Officer.

It approved introduction of Heli Taxi Services, to give boost to quality adventure tourism infrastructure creation by permitting the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department to invite Technical and Financial bids for introduction of Tourist Helicopter Services in the State.

A guarantee of Rs 300 crore in favour of the Himachal Pradesh State Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Limited to float the loan bonds for the year 2011-12 was also approved by the Cabinet.

This would benefit the farmers, horticulturists and workers in availing of more liberal loan facilities to improve their economic condition.

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