The Tribune Impact

Capt seeks report on Rs 80-cr labour fund bungling

PATIALA: Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has sought a report from the Labour Department over the financial irregularities of more than Rs 80 crore, reportedly by the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board (BOCW).

Capt seeks report on Rs 80-cr labour fund bungling

Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister.

editorial@tribune.com

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, September 6

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has sought a report from the Labour Department over the financial irregularities of more than Rs 80 crore, reportedly by the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board (BOCW).

The CM, ex-officio chairman of the BOCW — citing a The Tribune report — has sought an explanation from the Labour Department on the said matter in three days.

Notably, on August 30, The Tribune had highlighted a report of denial of welfare benefits to registered construction workers, along with misappropriation of funds by the BOCW during 2013-18.

The irregularities were unearthed when the office of the Principal Accountant General (Audit), Punjab, in the first-ever audit of the BOCW, checked its records of seven of the 23 circles for the 2013-18 period.

Following the orders of the CM, the department on Friday issued a notice to all officials, including assistant labour commissioners, to give an explanation on the matter at the earliest.

Labour Department Principal Secretary VK Janjua, confirming the development, said “We are preparing a factual report on the matter. The report will, most likely, be submitted by Monday.”

Janjua said one of the major irregularities was the purchase of land and construction of four skill development centres for the Punjab Skill Development Mission from the labour funds. Moreover, the Board had also transferred Rs 6.61 crore in May 2016 to the said mission.

He said, “The irregularities in the disbursement of monetary benefits and anomalies in registration of beneficiaries for the benefit schemes were not that big. However, a huge amount was spent on the purchase of land in four cities, violating the BOCW Act.”

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