Chennai, The Tamil Nadu Construction Workers Welfare Board did not initiate effective action to bring the inter-state migrant workers under its fold, a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said on Saturday.

TNCWWB did not bring inter-state migrant workers under its fold: CAG report

None of the estimated 1.45 lakh inter-state migrant construction workers were registered with the TNCWWB, the CAG Performance Audit on Welfare of Building and Other Construction Workers of Tamil Nadu for the year 2024, said.

Implementation of welfare schemes for the benefit of registered workers suffered due to abnormal delays in processing of claims made by registered workers.

“Lack of clarity on scheme implementation had resulted in extending benefits to potentially ineligible persons. Lack of due diligence had led to non-extending benefits to a large number of beneficiaries during COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously, a significant number of beneficiaries received assistance more than once,” the report tabled in the Assembly stated.

Significant shortfalls in achievements under the Mission Mode Project, launched by the Government of India, contributed to deficiencies in the implementation of welfare schemes.

The report said that TNCWWB did not maintain a database of Cess assessed, collected and remitted and thus lacked a system to ascertain the quantum and timely assessment of Cess.

“The audit found significant shortcomings in registering Establishments/Employers by the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health , which adversely impacted the scope for data sharing with TNCWWB to ensure assessment of Labour Cess,” it said.

The audit found significant under-valuation of cost of constructions by applicants of building permits, and the local bodies who were to collect the Labour Cess at the time of approving the building permits did not have a system to ensure correctness of the estimated value of the construction.

Despite the creation of TNCWWB in 1994, significant shortfalls continued in the registration process of unorganised construction workers.

“The manual as well as the electronic data of registered workers had significant shortcomings. Inaccuracies in capturing vital data such as Aadhaar number, mobile number and bank account number of the registered workers compromised the quality of the registration database,” it said.

Deficiency in identification of eligible construction workers through proper survey had resulted in non-registration of a significant number of workers.

The CAG made 20 recommendations including asking the government to ensure that TNCWWB maintains an updated database of all Cess remitting institutions and establishments and framing guidelines for the estimation of construction cost of buildings for which building permits are approved by local bodies, and TNCWWB should ensure adherence to the guidelines.

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