New Delhi, October 16: Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang today distributed distress relief tokens to construction workers to mitigate the hardships faced by them in the wake of the flood in Sikkim.

There are 8,733 workers registered under Sikkim Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (SBOCWWB). The workers are receiving Ten Thousand Rupees each as distress relief fund from the State Government. The transfer of fund are being done through banking system; 80% of the total is transferred via Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) while remaining 20% is transferred through account payee cheques.

In a sombre function held at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok organised by the Labour Department, two-minute silence was observed remembering those who have lost their lives in the recent flood.

Cash incentives to two children of the labourers, who have excelled academically were also handed over. Similarly, four registered workers received financial assistance under various schemes.

The State Government has been providing the following welfare measures to the construction workers registered under the BOCW (RE& CS) Act,1996:

Permanent disability/death during the course of Employment Rs. 5 Lakhs; Natural death of registered workers – Rs. 2 Lakhs; Funeral Assistance Rs. 20 thousand; Maternity Benefit – Rs.30 thousand; Marriage Assistance- Rs.20 thousand; Medical assistance – Rs.20 thousand; Minor injury assistance – Rs.20 thousand and One time pension of 50 thousand.

The Chief Minister in his brief address said that the State Government acknowledges the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice of all the workers and the Government is committed to protecting the rights of the labourers. During this difficult and challenging time, the State Government is reaching out to all the registered labourers by providing the Distress Relief Funds, over and above the Rs.15,000 minimum wage and other benefits that they are receiving, he informed.

The Chief Minister also said that children of labourers are getting assistance in higher education, including getting admission to Government Institutions, enrolling in medical and engineering courses and financial assistance to meet their tuition and accommodation fees.

“The relief and wage that you are receiving is only the result of your hard work,” said the Chief Minister to the labourers. He urged the workers to register themselves with SBOCWWB to avail several benefits offered by the state Government.

Labour Minister Lok Nath Sharma, while speaking about the benefits received by the registered workers, informed that building construction workers such as carpenters, brick mason and others who are employed under different contractors can also come forward and register themselves. He emphasized upon provision of financial benefits available for the registered labourers. Minister Sharma stated that the financial amount collected from the cess is utilised only for the welfare of registered labourers. Further, he urged all concerned to support the exercise of getting all the labourers registered with SBOCWW board.

The programme was also attended by Ministers, MLAs, Advisors, Chairpersons, GMC Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Secretary and officers of Labour Department, the labourers and their family members.

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