AP Govt to collect one per cent cess on construction activity

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Hyderabad, Oct 4 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Government has decided, in principle, to collect one per cent cess on construction activity to provide health insurance and implement welfare measures for this unorganised sector.

According to an official release here today, the cess would be applicable to all Central and State Government departments, public undertakings, commercial constructions and individual residential constructions above Rs 10 lakh.

The proposal was that all State, Central Governments and undertakings should deduct one per cent cess, while paying bills to the contractors.

An estimated 55 lakh construction workers and workers engaged in related works would be benefitted by this.

The workers, who had worked for 90 days during the preceding 12 months, would have to register with the Board as beneficiary by paying Rs 50 as registration fee and Rs 12 as annual contribution.

All types of construction workers (direct and indirect) were eligible. The workers would be given identity cards for this purpose.

The main benefit to the workers would be the health insurance on the lines of 'Aarogyasri'. The proposal was to introduce a comprehensive social security and welfare scheme for the unorganied workers in all BPL categories in the State, the release said. Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy asked the Labour Department to work out how to deduct the cess, how to account for it, how to synchronise it with the ongoing 'Aarogyasri' and contribute to the construction workers' welfare board to extend other benefits and social welfare measures.

It may be noted that the Centre had introduced Unorganised Social Security Bill, 2007, in the Rajya Sabha, which would cover death and disability, health, old-age benefit and maternity benefits.


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