Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 May 2018 10:58:06

THE proposal circulated by the Union Government to pay monthly pension of Rs. 1000 after construction worker attains the age of 60 years and offer scholarship to their children, is a long pending demand and hence is welcome. This proposal, in a way, recognises the fact that building and other construction workers have been left in a lurch without any legal and financial protection. But such a thinking on the part of the Government came only after the Supreme Court issued directives to formulate a scheme for the welfare of this totally unprotected segment of the population.

Ironically, the Governments at the Centre and in states have been collecting cess for the welfare of the construction workers and have accumulated a fund of Rs. 42000 crore, collected under the provisions of relevant law. But states and Centre have not done much to utilise these funds to help the needy construction workers whose life is spent in toiling day in and day out under harsh living conditions, being deprived of as basic needs as shelter, education for their children, healthcare etc.



THE  Union Government admits that the banking sector is under terrible stress and that it urgently needs corrective measures. Taking a review of 11 public sector banks (PSBs), currently under stress and under the watch list of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mr. Piyush Goyal, holding temporary Charge of Finance Ministry in Mr. Arun Jaitley’s absence,  has assured that the Government will extend support to these banks in the interest of the national economy.

As the banking sector forms the backbone of the nation’s finances, it has to be urgently restored to health. With the economy looking to take a leap forward on the back of several positive elements, the country cannot afford to have a weakened banking sector. Apart from strengthening its hands, its credibility has also to be restored. Besides providing capital to business and industry, banks also act as the custodians of public money. Restoring their credibility in public perception should form an essential ingredient of any programme for refurbishing banks to health. That is the need of the hour.