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Punjab introduces welfare package for labourers

Chandigarh: The Punjab Government has notified a package of welfare measures for labour class in the State including ‘Interest Free Loans' for labourers to purchase household goods.

With Assembly polls due early next year, bonanza for the labour class includes provision of Rs.40,000 ex-gratia grant for the widows of industrial workers.

State's Labour Minister Arunesh Shakir on Wednesday said that according to package finalised, the Punjab Labour Welfare Board would provide ‘Interest Free Loans' to labourers for purchasing cycles, sewing machines, fans, televisions, wheat and paddy.

The labourers can also avail this loan facility to purchase computers to provide better education to their wards, he added.

The Minister said the Board would also disburse an amount of Rs.40,000 to the labourers' widows besides providing Rs.5,100 to their daughters at the time of their marriages. He further said SAD-BJP government has revised the Punjab Labour Welfare Board Fund Act-1965, along with the minimum rates of wages. Mr. Shakir said the minimum rates of wages have been revised from September 2008, for all categories of workers.

He added that the minimum wages, which were adjusted after every six months based on increase in CPI (Consumer Price Index), would be Rs.3,842 per month and Rs.147.33 per day from March 1, 2011, for an unskilled industrial worker, while an unskilled agriculture worker would get Rs.153.81 per day without meal and Rs.138.29 per day with meal.

The labourers attached with agriculture would now be entitled to get Rs.28,434 annually, he said- PTI

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