BUILDING AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION WORKERS' WELFARE CESS ACT, 1998
BACKGROUND MATERIAL FOR PRESS CONFERENCE (06/09/2005) BY THE
93% work force population of India is in the unorganized sector . After agricultural workers, the workmen working in Building and Other Construction work are the second largest constituents of the unorganized sector . The large numbers of constructions workers are migratory, socially backward and uneducated with low bargaining power . A need, therefore, was felt that a separate comprehensive legislation is essential to protect the interest of construction workers exclusively . The Govt. of India accordingly enacted Building and Other Construction Workers (RE & CS) Act, 1996, hereinafter it will be referred as "Main Act" and Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996, and hereinafter it will be referred as "Cess Act".
The Main Act provides for construction of Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board for providing medical facilities, pension, family pension, advance for purchase or construction of house, lone for purchase of tools, financial assistance for education, financial assistance for marriage, immediate assistance in case of worker's accident, maternity benefit, death benefit etc. to the building and other construction workers registered as beneficiaries with the Board.
The Cess Act provides for mandatory levy and collection of cess on the cost of construction incurred by the employers to augment the resources of the Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board .
"Building or other construction work" means the construction, alteration, repairs, maintenance or demolition, of or, in relation to, buildings, streets, roads, railways, tramways, airfields, irrigation, drainage, embankment and navigation works, flood control works (including storm water drainage works), generation, transmission and distribution of power, water works (including channels for distribution of water), oil and gas installations, electric lines, wireless, radio, television, telephone, telegraph and overseas communications, dams canals, reservoirs, watercourses, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, aqueducts, pipelines, towers, cooling towers, transmission towers and such other work as may be specified in this behalf by the appropriate Government, by notification but dies not include any building or other construction work to which the provisions of the Factories Act, 1948, or the Mines Act, 1952, apply ;
"Building Worker" means a person who is employed to do any skilled, semi-skilled, manual, supervisory, technical or clerical work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be expressed or implied, in connection with any building or other construction work but does not include any such person -
Who is employed mainly in managerial or administrative or in supervisory capacity .
3. COMMENCEMENT OF THE ACTS
The Govt. of NCT of Delhi has framed Delhi Building & Other Construction Workers (RE &CS) Rules, 2002 and notified in January 2002 . With the notification of these Rules, Act has come into force in the National Capital Territory of Delhi w.e.f. January 2002 . Subsequently, as provided u/s 18 of the Main Act, the Delhi Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board has been constituted under the Chairmanship of the Hon'ble Minister of Labour & Employment, Govt. of Delhi vide notification dated 02.09.2002.
4. PERSONS LIABLE TO PAY CESS : APPLICATION OF THE ACT
The Act apply to every establishment which employs, or had employed on any
Day of preceding 12 months, 10 or more building workers in any building or other construction work .
In respect of Government Departments, Public Undertakings and other Government bodies carrying out any building or other construction work, if work is carried on by them directly without any contractor, the Head of Department .
Similarly, the CEO of a Local authority, if work is carried out directly without any contractor .
If work is carried out by Government Department, Local Body, or Public Sector Undertaking etc. through a contractor, then the contractor .
In respect of individual's residential house, the owner of the house .
In case of group housing societies, the Society .
In case of big Malls and hospitals, the builders/contractors, as the case may be .
WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO
If construction work is completed within a financial year, file a return in a prescribed format . (Copy enclosed) The Cess will be determined after adjusting the advance cess paid to the authority . In case work continues beyond the period of one year, then they shall deposit cess on the total cost of construction incurred during that year and the assessment will be made on completion of work after adjusting the cess already paid by the employer .
- Every employer/owner/contractor to whom this Act applies shall get themselves register with the Registering Officer .
- They shall make payment of the cess @ 1% of the total cost of construction incurred by them, through the demand draft in the name of "The Delhi Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board."(Copy of order enclosed)
- In case of Government Departments/Local bodies/Public Sector Undertakings & other bodies, they shall deduct such amount from the contractors' bill and shall remit through Account Payee Cheque in the name of "The Delhi Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board."
- Where such building or other construction work requires approval of the local authority, advance cess shall be collected by the local authority . All local authorities i.e. MCD, NDMC, Delhi Concernment Board, DDA shall obtain estimated cost of construction along with the building plan which are bubmitted to them by owner/contractor/builder for approval . Such bodies shall collect a front amount of one per cent of the estimated cost furnished along with the building plan .
- For private constructions, the concerned employer i.e. owner/contractor/ Builder shall :
All payments of cess is to be deposited through A/c Payee Cheque in favour of "The Delhi Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board" with the Deputy Labour Commissioners of the district who are the Assessing Officers .
Under the Main Act, Labour Commissioner has been appointed as Chief Inspector of inspection of Building and Construction .
All the Joint Labour Commissioners/Dy. Labour Commissioners, Asstt. Labour Commissioners, Labour Officers and Officers, working in Labour Department Have been appointed as Inspector .
All Asstt. Labour Commissioners and Labour Officers have been appointed as Registering Officers .
All Joint Labour Commissioners/Dy. Labour Commissioners have been appointed Appellate Officers .
One of the Joint Labour Commissioners of the Labour Department has been appointed as Secretary of the Board .
Recently under the Cess Act and the Rules framed thereunder, the Govt. of NCT of Delhi vide notification dated 08.07.2005 has appointed all Inspecting Officers and Labour Officers working in the Labour Department as Cess Collectors .
All the Dy. Labour Commissioners posted in the office of the Labour Commissioner, Govt. of NCT of Delhi have been appointed as Assessing Officers for the district under their jurisdiction and
The Labour Commissioner, Govt. of NCT of Delhi has been appointed as Appellate Authority .
6. FUNCTIONS OF THE AUTHORITIES APPOINTED UNDER THE CESS ACT
(i) Cess Collectors shall work under the direct supervision and control of the Assessing Officer .
(ii) He shall collect details from the local authorities of all building plans
Which have been approved by the local authorities since January, 2002 and from the local SHOs, the list of all construction works being maintained by them .
(iii) They shall maintain the District Master Register giving details of returns filed by employer under section 4(1) of the Cess Act in the prescribed format.
(iv) He shall prepare the notices under section 4(2) of the Act and put up to the Assessing Officer for his signature .
(v) He shall maintain details of cheques collected and sent to the office of Labour Commissioner in the District Master Register .
(i) He shall work under the overall control and supervision of Labour Commissioner .
(ii) He shall after receipt of returns under section 4(1) make assessment as per rules 7 of the Cess Rules . For assessment purposes separate guidelines to ensure transparency and non-discriminatory treatment, are being issued .
(iii) He shall every month review details of payment received as per the assessment orders and in case payments have not been received shall proceed as per rule 12 and 13 of the Cess Rules .
(iv) The Assessing Officer in order to discharge his duties shall take recourse to provisions contained in Rule 10 of the Cess Rules .
(v) In respect of Government Departments, Public Undertakings and other Government Bodies, assessment shall shall be as per the information furnished or the actual payment made .
(i) On receipt of the appeal, the appellate authority may call from the
Assessing Officer a statement on the basis of his assessment order appealed against, and considered for disposal of the appeal .
(ii) The Appellate Authority shall give the appellant an opportunity of being heard to the appellant .
(iii) On being satisfied on the quantum of cess, the Appellate Authority shall confirm the order of the Assessing Officer, or shall modify the order of assessment or if in his opinion the assessment is on the lower side or if the basis of assessment is wrong he shall remand back the assessment order to the Assessing Officer along with the observations to rectify the wrong .
(iv) No appeal shall lie against the order of the Appellate Authority .
(v) If the Appellate Authority is of opinion that the quantum of penalty imposed is on the higher side or not correctly made, it shall suitably modify or set aside the order of the Assessing Officer, as the case may be .
(vi) An order in appeal reducing the amount of cess shall also ask the Board to refund the excess cess .
(vii) Order shall also specify the date by which the amount of should be paid/refunded .
7. REGISTRATION OF BUILDING WORKERS AS BENEFICIARIES
It is estimated to cover more then 5 lakh workers in Delhi .
Eligibility :- Every building worker who has completed 18 years of age, but has Not completed 60 years of age and who has been engaged in any building or other Construction work not less then 90 days during the preceding 12 months, shall be Eligible for registration as a beneficiary under the Act .
Registration :- The registration shall be made by the officers authorized by the Board in this behalf . For the registration of the beneficiaries, the Delhi Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board will be hiring the services of EDIL-SARK Citizen Service bureau . It will be operating through the Employment Exchange Offices and all the nine District labour Offices of the Govt. of NCT of Delhi as well as through the Citizens Service Bureaus of MCD .
The building worker working in the particular district can approach to the District Labour Office/Employment exchange Office along with the prescribed Documents such as age proof and the employment certificate and fill up the Application form for registration .
Fee for Registration :- Every building worker eligible to become a beneficiary has To pay rupees twenty-five as registration fee at the time of making application .
Contribution to the fund :- A beneficiary of the fund shall contribute twenty Rupees per mensem to the fund and remit in advance once in three months in any Of the bank specified by the Board .
Every building worker registered, as a beneficiary under the Act Shall be entitled to the nenefits provided by the Board from its funds like family Pension, education loans, giving these benefits according to its financial position.
1. Maternity benefit : The women members shall be given rupees one thousand each as maternity benefit during the period of maternity twice on an application made in Form XXXIV along with the documents .
2. Pension : A member of fund who has been working, as a building worker for not less then one year after the commencement of these Rule shall, on completion of 60 years of age, be eligible for pension . The amount of pension shall be one hundred and fifty rupees per month . An increase of ten rupees shall be given for completed years of service beynd five years .
3. Medical Assistance : Board may sanction financial assistance to the beneficiaries who are hospitalized for five or more days due to accident or any disease . The assistance shall be two hundred rupees for the first five days and teenty rupees each for the remaining days, subject to maximum one thousand rupees .
3. Payment of death benefit : Board may sanction an amount of fifteen Thousand rupees to the nominees/dependents of a member towards the death benefit in case of death due to an accident during the course of employment .