For the Benefit of Construction Workers
As part of Government's 100 days programme the Labour Department has embarked on a major drive from August 13, to collect huge arrears of building cess estimated at Rs. 95 crore. The recovery of the building cess is intended to help Kerala Construction Workers Welfare Fund Board to provide social welfare benefits to 20 lakh members of the fund.
The Labour Department is organizing a one-month long building cess adalat in fourteen districts from August 13. Owners of residential and non-residential buildings and apartments are liable to pay building cess under the Construction Workers Welfare Fund Act. The cess is levied on all buildings with a construction cost of over Rs. 10 lakh at the rate of one percent. The adalat would benefit all owners of residential and non-residential buildings and apartments builders who had completed construction during the assessment years between January 1996 and December 31, 2008. The Labour Minister has clarified in a press conference held on August 11, 2011 that assesses could submit self attested declarations and other related documents to avail themselves of benefits, including waiver of interest and penal interest on the unremitted amounts.
The arrears had kept mounting because there was no mechanism in the department to collect cess amounts. Ignorance of owners was also a contributing factor, while big builders rarely bothered to follow the rules.