Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the TRS Government was not serious towards welfare of labourers in the State, even during the crisis like Covid-19.
Speaking after hoisting INTUC flag on the occasion of International Labour Day celebrations at Gandhi Bhavan on Friday, Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the State Government has diverted nearly Rs. 1,000 crore funds collected towards Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Cess for other purposes. He said that the State Government has diverted Rs. 335 crore of BOCW Cess to Civil Supplies Corporation and remaining funds to other departments.
“These funds were exclusively meant for the welfare of building and other construction workers. Many States have transferred up to Rs. 3,000 each registered building and other construction workers during the lockdown from these BOCW Cess funds. However, instead of helping the workers, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has diverted their funds for other purposes,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, MLC S. Ramulu Naik informed that he has already sought information under RTI from BOC Workers Welfare Board regarding the diversion of BOC Cess collected from private workers. Further, a complaint has also been lodged with the State Human Rights Commission regarding misuse of funds.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that both BJP Government at the Centre and TRS Govt in Telangana have been neglecting the workers since beginning. He said lakhs of migrant labourers were put to extreme hardships during the lock down period.
“The lockdown to prevent spread of Coronavirus was imposed without any planning. Instructions were not issued to the employers to retain all the workers nor were arrangements made for their safe return to their native places. Lakhs of them were left on streets with no food and shelter. Many of them reached their homes by walking several hundred kilometres and some of them died enroute. BJP Govt is responsible for creating this chaos and it was Modi Government’s misadministration that killed several workers,” he said.
The TPCC Chief said that the TRS Government has tried to play a cruel joke on migrant workers in Telangana. CM KCR made tall claims during a live press conference and promised that his government would take care of all migrant workers in the State. This was apparently done only to garner some praise in the social media.
KCR’s estimate on number of migrant workers in Telangana was nowhere close to reality. He claimed there were nearly 3.5 lakh migrant workers in Telangana.
Later, the number swelled to six lakh and on April 30 Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav said there were over 15 lakh migrant workers in the State. He said that the Chief Minister’s ignorance on the estimated number of migrant workers clearly show that his government was not concerned about their welfare.
He said that the State Government did not provide promised help of 10 kg rice and Rs 500 even to the 3.5 lakh migrant workers who were identified when the Chief Minister addressed a press conference. He said that the Congress party would meet Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan next week to submit a representation seeking help for the migrant and other workers in the State. He also demanded that the State Government provide Rs. 3,000 each to all registered building and construction workers from the BOCW Cess fund.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said when all other governments in the world were giving huger financial packages to private companies to enable them to pay salaries to their staff, the BJP and TRS Governments are cutting down the salaries of government staff.
Even pensioners, who require medicines and other needs, have to face a 50% cut in their pension amount. “PM Modi and CM KCR are punishing the people for their own inabilities to handle the crisis in a proper manner,” he said.
The TPCC Chief said that ongoing lockdown across the globe has badly affected the workers and it would have a long last impact. He said that the Congress party was committed to the welfare of workers and it would continue to help them in whatever form they could.
Later in the evening, Uttam Kumar Reddy addressed the party cadre through social media platform Facebook on issues related to Coronavirus situation.
He appealed all Congress workers to visit the procurement centres, IKP centres in their districts to check the progress of procurement of agriculture produce. He asked them to submit information to the party headquarters so that it could be incorporated in the memorandum to be submitted to the Governor next week.