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JKSPDCL overlooks labourers' rights
Rs 17 cr labour cess not deducted from contractors' bills
8/18/2017 9:53:41 PM

Arun Singh

Early Times Report

Jammu, Aug 18: The J&K State Power Development Corporation Limited (JKSPDCL) hasn't deducted Rs 17.58 crore as labour cess from the bills raised by contractors for carrying out civil and electric works, in violation of the standing rules.
Under the J&K Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Rules 2006, all government departments and Public Sector Units carrying out any construction works are required to deduct labour cess of one per cent of the gross amount of bill raised by the contractor and remit with the BOCW Board within 30 days.
"The JKSPDCL executed several civil and electric works at Baglihar Hydro Electric Project through contractors during 2011-2015. Subsequently a whopping amount of Rs 1782 crore was released in favour of contractors against the bills raised by them. But astonishingly, the corporation deducted only Rs 25 lakh as labour cess from the bills of the contractors against the cess claim of Rs 17.83 cr. The balance of Rs 17.58 cr was neither deducted from the contractors nor deposited with the Board," said sources.
They said that with its casual approach, the corporation has not only failed to meet a statutory requirement but also created an unnecessary liability of Rs 17.58 cr, thereby exposing itself for imposition of penalty of not exceeding the amount of labour cess under BOCW rules, 2006.
Surprisingly, the JKSPDCL has been giving unrealistic response in this connection by asserting that the liability would be discharged after getting the approval from the government. It is however not tenable as it is mandatory to deduct one percent labour cess from bills as soon as the payment is made to the contractors and subsequently deposited with the BOCW Board. The amount is later used in various welfare measures for the workmen engaged in construction and allied sectors.
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