February 7, 2009

More benefits for unorganised workforce: West Bengal Govt.

KOLKATA: The West Bengal government will ensure benefits to the unorganised sector of the workforce through incentives and schemes, said Trilochan Singh, principal secretary, labour department, government of West Bengal at an interactive session, 'Industrial relations in West Bengal' organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry(BNCCI).

Singh stated that around 94 per cent of the workforce comprises the unorganised sector and some sectors like the tea and bidi workers were living under pitiable conditions.

"Tea workers in many areas are dwelling under very poor conditions and are deprived of even basic amenities apart from healthcare facilites which very few can avail of."

All these factors put together invariably lead to low production output, added Singh.

Various steps are being initiated by the state government for the unorganised sector like provision of Rs 2,500 for electrification of houses of the bidi workers in rural areas and the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana(RSBY), phase one of which has already been rolled out in the districts of Burdwan, Malda, North 24 Parganas and East Midnapur.

"Biometric smart cards have already been issued in Burdwan and Malda while cards will be issued in the other two districts within March," added Singh.

The scheme would meet the expenses of hospitalisation and surgical procedures costing up to Rs 30,000.

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