Monday, March 27, 2023

NBOCWWB to re-examine state expenditures

Nagaland Building & Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board (NBOCWWB) chairman, Dr. Kekhrie Yhome on Friday, informed that they were initiating a re-examination of state expenditures for the past three financial years on a department by department basis.
According to a DIPR report, Dr. Kekhrie Yhome was speaking at the consultative meeting of NBOCWWB and Finance department with engineering departments in the conference hall of the New Secretariat, Kohima.
The chairman said NBOCWWB was a health and welfare-oriented board with enforcement powers and that the welfare fund was incorporated into the board where fund was chiefly derived from 1% workers’ welfare cess levied on “cost of construction”.
He said cess was not a tax or revenue, but a “fee” which was constitutionally and legislatively enacted assessment and therefore the collection was strictly compulsory. Reiterating directives from the Supreme Court of India, Dr. Kekhrie said the state’s department of Finance issued standing notifications in 2012 to various concerned departments for compulsory cess collection.
He said many establishments, including ministries under the government of India, state departments, and government-run public sector undertakings operating in the state have not been dutifully remitting or reporting their cess payments to the board. In this regard, Dr. Kekhrie informed that delay in payment was another concern, and for a salary-economy state like Nagaland, the huge financial burden on public expenditure, he said, would immediately trigger economic collapse and the public would suffer economic depression for decades.
He also said the board, on its part would enforce honesty in financial administration by various cess-payable agencies, and where erring officials were found, the board would initiate legal action and where lapses were detected, the board would decide further action.
Meanwhile, NBOCWWB CEO, T. Chubayanger said the welfare board was constituted to register construction workers in the state and provide them social security by providing certain benefits.
In order to provide these benefits, Chubayanger said the central government created the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.
The CEO also informed they were trying to streamline payment of cess and renewal of registration through online process that was available on their official website, which would help create a public domain through their online portal.
Later, commissioner & secretary (Finance), V. Kezo said all responsible departments should comply with the Act and should fully implement it.
He said the board would be applying “a common yardstick for every department” and that it would try to work out a mechanism that would sensitise everyone about the Act.

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