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  • CHAPTER V

    MAJOR PROVISIONS AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF

    THE SCHEME: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL

    This chapter provides a brief account of the different phases in the

    implementation of the Scheme in the state and critically analyses the major

    provisions in it. The coverage of the Scheme in terms of the areas of operation

    and the number of workers brought under its fold is examined. The growth of the

    Scheme in terms of the regulation of employment, welfare oriented programmes

    and the settlement of disputes is critically evaluated. Subsequent to this, the

    raison d'etre of the 'eligibility criteria' for the extension of the welfare measures

    to the labourers is examined. Along with this exercise, an evaluation of the

    performance and the financial management of the Committees is made in order

    to assess the economic sustainability of the Committees.

    The first notified area under the Scheme was Chalai Bazaar (ward

    nurnbers 38 and 39) in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation and the first Committee

    was constituted there on 1 March 1984. The functional operation of the Scheme

    commenced on 18 June 1984 with 349 workers, and later the Scheme was

    extended to the whole area of the Corporation of Thiruvananthapuram. By the

    end of the 1980s, 29 areas in the state had been notified for its implementation

    and in some of the notified areas Committees were also constituted. However,

    during this decade the Scheme was implemented only in six of the notified areas,

    namely, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Kozhikode and

    Kannur.' in order to commence the functional operation of the Scheme,

    I The Scheme was implemented in Thrissur with 668 workers on 19 May 1985, in Emakulam with 645 workers on I February 1985, in Palakkad with 614 workers on 23 July 1986, in Kozhikode with 878 workers on 2 March 1987 and in Kannur with 105 workers on 2 April 1987.

  • Committees were constituted at Kollam, Alappuzha, Changmachewy, Kottayam,

    Thodupuzha and Mattancherry during the year 1985-86, But these Committees

    could not start functioning in their respective market areas due to the objection of

    either the employers, or the trade union leaders or both. Employers were

    reluctant to bear the additional burden of the levy to be paid and trade union

    leaders had the fear of Iosing income and managerial power. However, by the

    beginning of the 1990s the Committees in these areas were reconstituted and the

    Scheme had begun to function.

    During the 1990s a large number of areas were notified and the

    implementation of the Scheme was extended to more market centres in the state.

    A noted feature of the expansion of the Scheme during this period was that the

    implementation of the Scheme had been extended to semi-urban and rural areas

    also. The effective functioning of the Committees that had started in the 1980s

    and the visible positive changes in the functioning of the headload work in the

    concerned market areas inspired the employers and genuine trade union leaders.

    This experiential knowledge boosted the confidence of the headloaders as well as

    union leaders and resulted in the expansion of the Scheme to more areas in the

    1990s. By that time the trade union leaders were relieved of their fear of the loss

    of their managerial power in the headload labour market.

    5.1 Scheme Areas

    Although the state government had notified as many as 479 areas for the

    implementation of the Scheme as on 3 1 March 2001, the Scheme got implemented

    only in 189 areas. Table 5.1 shows the district-wise distribution of the notified areas

    and Scheme areas. As the table shows, in terms of the number of Scheme areas, the

    districts of Emakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, and Malappuram were relatively better

    placed; and more than 5 5 per cent of the total number of Scheme areas belonged to

  • these four districts. Again, about 18 per cent of the total number of notified areas and

    23 per cent of the Scheme areas were in a single district, i,e., Ernzkulam, However,

    the expansion of the Scheme in a district cannot be evaluated merely in terms of the

    number of Scheme areas in that district because there are wide variations in the

    number of workers covered by the Scheme in each area. The volume of work done in

    each market also varies. Usually Scheme implementation begins from large market

    centres and spreads to small markets in a phased manner. The Scheme is introduced

    first in corporation and municipal areas where major headload markets exist. After

    this, relatively smaller market centres are also brought under the Scheme. Therefore,

    an increase in the number of Scheme areas in a district indicates the expansion of the

    Scheme to smaller markets of the semi-urban and rural areas.

    Table 5.1

    District-wise Statement of the Notified and the Scheme Areas in Kerala

    Nore: As on 3 1 March 200 1 Source: The Kerala Headload Workers Welfare Board (KHWWB)

    Districts

    Thiruvananthapuram

    Kollam

    Pathanamthitta

    Alappuzha

    Kottayam

    Idukki

    Ernakulam

    Thrissur

    Palakkad

    Malappuram

    Kozhikode

    W ayand

    Kannur

    Kasaragode Total

    Notified Number

    59

    42

    a 13

    17

    40

    11

    84

    28

    48

    7 1

    36

    4

    19

    7 479

    areas Percentage

    12.32

    8.77

    2.71

    3.55

    8.35

    2.30

    17.54

    5.85

    10.02

    14.82 7.52

    0.83

    3.96

    1,46 100.00

    Scheme Number

    12

    14

    6

    5

    17

    9

    43

    2 1

    23

    20

    7

    4

    5

    3 189

    areas Percentage

    6.35

    7.41

    3.17

    2.65

    8.99

    4.76

    22.75

    11.1 1

    12.17

    10.58

    3.70

    2.12

    2.65

    1.59 100.00

  • The successhl implementation of the Scheme in a particular market depends,

    to a great extent, on the number of workers and the volume of available work in that

    area. The administrative expenses of the Committee and the welfare expenses for the

    workers other than the terminal benefit and pension are to be rnet with the

    employers ' levy. There are many market places where the expected levy receipts are

    not sufficient to meet the expenses of the Committees. Therefore, when a proposal

    for the implementation of the Scheme in an area is presented before the Board, the

    decision on it is taken on the basis of an economic feasibility report prepared by the

    Board. In such non-viable markets the Board used to set up sub-offices of the

    existing Co~nmittees of nearby markets. There were a large number of markets in

    rural areas where even sub-offices could not be constituted, as the employers' levy

    was insufficient to meet the expenses of even a sub-off~ce. Normally the Scheme

    could not be implemented in these areas. The Board solved this problem in two

    ways. One way was to attach these small market places to the Committees/

    sub-offices already constituted in adjoining areas. Another method was to start

    one sub-office for more than one small market place. The advantage of this

    administrative set up was that the Scheme could be implemented even in very small

    market places. In this connection it is to be noted that sub-offices are not statutory

    bodies and that they can function only under the directives of the Committees

    concerned. In every sub-office an advisory body is formed and this body, though it

    has no statutory powers, functions with certain powers conferred on it by the Board.

    The district-wise distribution of the Local Committees, sub-offices, and

    incorporated areas is given in Table 5.2, which shows that Ernakulam District

    has the highest number of Local Committees. Three Committees out of a total of

    nine have been set up in the Corporation area itself and the other six Committees

  • have been set up in important market areas in the district. Besides these

    Cotnmittees, 10 sub-offices have also been established in the district. The district

    has the highest number of incorporated areas also. The overall performance of

    the district to implement the Scheme in the institutional set up is impressive.

    Even though the number of major market centres is relatively fewer in

    Palakkad district, 16 sub-offices have been set up to cover medium size markets.

    Thrissur and Malappuram districts are also moving well with the Scheme. The

    institutional arrangements to implement the Scheme are not sufficient in the

    other districts,

    Table 5.2

    District-wise Distribution of Local Committeea, Sub-offices and Incorporated Areas

    I Districts I Local Committees

    Pathanarnthitta

    Alappuzha

    Kottayam

    Idukki

    Ernakulam

    Thiruvananthapuram

    Kollam

    1

    3

    Malappuram

    Kozhikode

    Wayanad

    Thrissur

    Palakkad

    Kannur

    Kasaragode

    Total

    3

    3

    Note: As on 3 1 March 200 1 Source: KHWWB

    Sub offices

    6

    Incorporated areas

    5

  • In short, there were three phases in the expansion of the Scheme in the state.

    In the first phase (1984-1990) only six Committees could be started and, therefore,

    the Scheme implementation was limited to these Committee areas. In the second

    phase (1990- 1995) twenty Committees and fourteen sub-offices were set up in the

    state covering most of the important trading centres. However, the expansion of

    the Scheme to medium sized and small market areas took place in the third phase

    (1 995-2000). It was during this period that more than 80 per cent of the total number

    of sub-offices were set up. Therefore, by the end of the 1990s the Scheme had

    become very popular and had received state-wide appreciation.

    The wide difference between the number of notified areas and that of

    areas where the Scheme has been actually implemented reveals that many

    potential areas still remain outside the purview of the Scheme. Some of these

    nan-Scheme areas are high wage earning market centres.

    5.2 Coverage of Workers

    Though the Scheme proposed to include all unattached headloaders in the

    state within its purview, even now many of them lie outside it due to various

    factors. The Scheme cannot be extended to those market areas where the earned

    wages of workers are very low because the government does not extend financial

    support to the Scheme. Moreover, if low wage earners are brought under the

    Scheme the levy receipts collected in their names will not be sufficient to meet

    the additional administrative and welfare expenses. So the basic limitation of the

    Scheme is that all unattached headload workers cannot be included in it.

    Table 5.3 shows the number of workers in the rolls of the Committees

    from 1984- 85 to 2000-0 1. Though the Scheme had an impressive beginning, its

  • steady expansion began only since 1990. Within a period of five years, i.e., from

    1989-90 to 1994-95, the number of workers in the rolls increased from 4269 to

    12818, showing an aggregate increase-of 200.25 per cent and an impressive

    annual compound growth rate of 24.59 per cent. By the year 2000-01 the number

    of workers further increased to 29965 registering an over all increase of 133.77

    per cent during the period 1994-95 to 2000-01. Annual growth rate during this

    period, which is estimated as 15.20 per cent was relatively much lesser. The

    relatively better performance of the Scheme in terms of its coverage during the

    first half of the nineties can be attributed to the fact that more major and medium

    sized markets were brought under the Scheme in that period.

    Table 5.3

    Year-wise Data Showing Number of Workers in Rolls from 1984-85 to 2000-01

    Source: KHWWB

    Year

    1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 1987-88 1988-89 1939-90 1990-9 1 199 1-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995 -96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99

    1999-2000 2000-200 1

    Workers in rolls

    349 1528 3462 3567 4342 4269 6277 73 72 8605

    11085 12818 14409 15068 180 10 21575 29264 29965

    Percentage increase Over previous year

    -

    337.82 126.57

    3.03 21.73 -1.68 47.04 17.44 16.73 28.82 15.63 12.4 1 4.57

    19.52 19.79 35.64

    2.40

  • The district-wise data of the workers in the rolls of the Committee as on

    3 1 March 2001 shows that the district of Ernakulam had the highest number of

    workers, i.e., 7524 (25.1 1 per cent). In Palakkad district there were 5374 workers

    (17.93 per cent) and in Thrissur, it was 4007 (13.37 per cent). These three

    districts together account for 56.41 per cent of the total workers included in the

    Scheme. Six districts viz., Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur

    and Kasaragode cover only 12.21 per cent of the total workers under the Scheme,

    It shows that the process of the implementation of the Scheme is concentrated in

    a few districts.

    5.3 Regulation of Employment

    The first step of the implementation of the Scheme in an area is the

    notification of the area that would be covered under the Scheme. Thereafter

    a Committee is constituted for the actual implementation of the schemeO2

    The officials of the Committee meet the employers, the workers and the trade

    union leaders in the notified area and hold discussions with them on issues

    relating to the functional operation of the Scheme. If a favourable decision is

    taken on the matter, the Committee proceeds with the registration of the

    employers and the workers under the Scheme. Those workers who have

    registered (under Rule 26 A) as headload workers and are working in the area are

    eligible to get registration. In spite of the fact that the coverage of the Scheme,

    both in terms of area and number of workers, has increased over the past

    few years, more potential areas and thousands of workers are yet to be included

    ' Section 18 of the Act.

  • in the Scheme. Therefore, positive efforts are to be made to include all the

    unregistered employers and workers in the Scheme area.

    After the registration of both the employers and the workers in an area,

    the next step is the pooling of the registered headload workers into various

    groups and allocating them in different locations of the Scheme area. When the

    Scheine was first implemented at the Chalai Bazaar, the Committee abandoned

    the informal work arrangements that existed in the markets. Instead, a new

    system was introduced in which the Committee congregated all the workers

    together and allocated them to different employers as per the demands of the

    employers. The total daily wages due to the entire group of workers were

    collected and shared equally among the workers who reported for duty. The new

    system was expected to serve mainly the following objectives: imparting

    competence to each worker to do all kinds of work, equalisation of wages, and

    creation of a sense of collectivity among the workers. Besides, if the workers

    were transferred from the place where they used to work and from the gang with

    which they were associated, their militancy could be reduced and their behaviour

    could be refined. Above all, it was thought that such a rearrangement of workers

    might loosen the caste-wise, area-wise, and trade union-wise segmentation of

    workers and that the managerial power of the Board would be strengthened.

    However, the new system of work arrangement and wage sharing was

    unacceptable to many workers. Traders and trade union leaders also protested

    against this system. A major reason for the resentment of the workers was that

    they were forced to do different kinds of works as against their specialised work.

    Equal wages to all was unacceptable to those groups that had been earning

    higher wages before the implementation of the Scheme. Majority of traders also

  • disliked this arrangement because the new workers were not as competent as the

    earlier ones who had been in the work for many years. They complained about

    difficulties like delay in completing the work, damaging of goods etc. Trade

    union leaders feared that if the new system was implemented everywhere, trade

    union based groupings would gradually disappear and that this in turn would

    deteriorate their control over the headloaders. Due to the severe protests from

    various quarters, the Committee finally decided to withdraw the new system of

    work arrangement. Since then, the Committees have not been making any major

    change in the existing work arrangements made by the workersltrade unions and

    headloaders, unless such a change is proposed unanimously.

    Prior to the implementation of the Scheme, trade unions with their muscle

    power used to prevent outsiders from entering the pool of headload workers. The

    frequent clashes between the 'insiders' and the 'outsiders' were a problem that

    destroyed the peaceful atmosphere of the market. But, with the commencement of

    the Scheme in an area, only the registered workers under the Scheme are legally

    permitted to work there. The allotment of specific areas to each group of workers can

    check the conflicts between the workers in different areas for getting more quantum

    of work. The prevention of free entry into the market and restricted inter-pool

    mobility also help to maintain a peaceful atmosphere in the market.

    The source of income for the implementation of the Scheme is the levy

    collected from the employers and the workers. The levy collected from the

    workers goes directly to the Terminal Benefit Fund, which will be given back to

    them on superannuation or termination. The levy collected from the employers is

    utilised for financing the welfare measures proposed under the Scheme and

    for meeting the administrative costs of both the Board and the Committees.

  • 'Though the Board does not collect the levy directly, a part of the levy collected

    by the Committees goes to the Board. Every employer should deposit with the

    Committee the sum of money equivalent to the amount needed to pay the

    workers employed by him for a week .bu t employers in general do not deposit

    the amount in advance and many of them do not regularly pay due levy to the

    Committees. Though the Act contains a provision to recover the amount due

    from an employer as if it were an arrear of public revenue due on land4, the

    Committees so far have not taken serious steps to collect it. A few employers

    who made default in the payment of levy to the Committees have wound up their

    establishments for different reasons. The addresses given by them to the

    Committees are found to be bogus in many cases, preventing to initiation of any

    legal action against them.

    The history of the headload labour market shows that the current wage

    schedule was established after a series of prolonged struggles between the

    militant workers and their employers. As the extent of labour militancy and their

    bargaining power were not uniform throughout the state, the prevailing wage

    schedules are not uniform. For the same work wide disparities are observed in

    wage rates between urban and rural areas. Again, in the same market itself wage

    differences can be noticed due to differentials in the bargaining power of the

    workers and their employers. It is not unusual to find two wage schedules at two

    sides of a bridge or a road or a building in the same market.

    The government prescribes the rates of wages payable to the headload

    workers in the Scheme area. The prescribed wage is defined as "the rate of

    h~s per Paragraph 27 of the Scheme. 4 Section 36 ( I ) of the Act.

  • wages notified by the government from time to time after considering the advice

    of the Board in the matterm5. Every headload worker shall be paid the prescribed

    wages, and different wages shall be prescribed for different establishments and

    for different kinds of work.6 Workers are strictly prohibited from charging higher

    wages than the prescribed wages, as wage rates are no more arbitrarily decided.

    Though it is stated in the Rules that the government prescribes the wages

    after considering the advice of the Board, the actual practice is that employers

    and trade union leaders make an agreement on wage revision. These agreements

    are different in different areas, depending on the existing wage rates and the

    percentage increase made on it. Normally wage rates are revised once in every

    two years. The Committee usually accepts the agreement made between the

    employers and the trade unions. And if any dispute arises, the Committee

    intervenes and helps to evolve a mutual agreement acceptable to both the parties.

    Wage revisions of each area are to be notified in the Gazette, but such

    notifications are not made promptly,

    The wages of the workers disbursed through the Committees increased

    considerably. The average monthly wages of the workers at the state level increased

    from Rs. 753 in 1990-91 to Rs. 2360 in 2000-01. The most serious problem, which

    may endanger the very existence of the Scheme, is the prevailing practice of traders

    paying a certain portion of the due wages directly to the workers circumventing the

    statutory norms. This practice is going on in almost all areas. The members of the

    Board and the Coinrnittees are we11 aware of this practice and have devised several

    measures to check it. But such steps have not been very effective. Most of the

    5 Clause (d) of the Rule 2. 6 Section 9 of the Act.

  • welfare measures are now linked with the amount of wages remitted in the name of

    the workers and their attendance in the pool.

    In the Scheme area a special arrangement is made to remit the wages of the

    workers who do general work. In the general work category there are no permanent

    employers; and the foot loose' employers do not register with the Committees. The

    main categories of employers in the general work category are contractors of

    building construction, farmers, petty traders, passengers with luggage etc. Since the

    workers cannot directly remit wages in the Committees and all the remittances of

    wages are made only in the name of the employers, the wages for genera1 work are

    remitted in the name of the pool leaders whose names are registered as employers in

    the Committees. This arrangement has helped to widen the scope of the Scheme to

    those areas devoid of permanent employers.

    The accounting system of the Committee is simple, clear and easily

    co~nprehensible to the workers. For this purpose a work card is prepared in

    triplicate and kept by the employers, the pool leaders and the Committee. Each

    party keeps the record of the amount paid or received. If a doubt on the account

    is raised by any one of these parties, it can be easily cleared. This accounting

    system is useful and convenient to the employers also as they can calculate the

    total wages paid for a specific period with the help of the copies of the work

    cards. The Committee can clear the doubts of the concerned parties with the

    work cards that they keep. Hence, it may be said that the accounting system of

    the Scheme is well sorted out and excellently managed.

    Disbursement of wages through the banks is a glaring feature of the

    present day headloaders' market. In the early days of the implementation of the

    Scheme Local Committees used to collect wages from the employers and

    disburse it among the workers. Now the Committees are disbursing wages

  • 137

    through banks wherever it is possible. Compared to the earlier practice, this

    system i s tnore convenient to the workers. It has actually increased the

    capabilities of workers in financial dealings. At present, the headload workers

    who were once labelled as rowdies frequently get into banks and make financial

    transactions just like others. They, as one bank manager observed, have changed

    a lot and are proud of their new status.

    The Committee can take disciplinary action against those workers and

    employers against whom any alleged act of indiscipline is e~tabl ished.~ The

    nature and extent of punishments to be given to the erring workers are clearly

    stated in the Scheme. But the Scheme does not provide any direction regarding

    the way in which a dishonest employer shall be punished. Whether the

    Committees take strict disciplinary action or not depends on the administrative

    efficiency of the Committees.

    5.4 Welfare Measures

    A large number of welfare measures have been extended to the headload

    workers under the Scheme. They are of two types - welfare measures with

    detailed rules and regulations and welfare measures with executive orders issued

    as per Board directions (See Appendix-1). As the welfare measures undertaken

    by the Committees in the initial years had no uniformity and were not sufficient

    enough, the Board directly initiated some welfare measures in addition to those

    introduced by the Committees. We shall separately examine the welfare

    measures adopted by the Committees and the Board.

    7 As per Paragraph 33 of the Scheme.

  • 5.4.1 Welfare measures adopted by the Committees

    a. Bonus and bonus advance

    Every headload worker in the rolls of the Committee is entitled to receive a

    fixed proportion of his annual wage earnings as bonus. The rate of bonus was fixed

    as 8.33 per cent of the annual wages of a worker during the year 1985-86. Thereafter,

    it was gradually increased and by the year 2000-2001 it was fixed at 11.5 per cent.

    The bonus amount is disbursed on the occasion of annual festivals such as Vdshu or

    Onam. Usually a portion of the bonus is given as advance to the workers at any one

    of the festivals in the area as decided by the Committee. The amount thus given will

    be deducted from the final bonus amounts when it is disbursed.

    b, Festival advance

    Festival advances are paid to workers during various festivals like Onam,

    Vishu, X'mas, etc, In 1987, the maximum advance amount payable to the

    workers was limited to Rs. 1500. The worker who received such advances had to

    pay back the entire sun1 within a period of 10 months. The amount of festival

    advance was enhanced to a maximum of Rs. 5000 in 2000-01. However, the

    period of repayment remains the same. The amount of advance to be given to

    each worker is determined on the basis of the average monthly wage earned

    during the previous financial year. It is stipulated that a worker is eligible to

    receive festival advance only if he has a minimum attendance of 60 days in total

    during the four months immediately preceding the date of his application.

    c. Holiday allowance

    Holiday allowances are paid to workers for 9 days during a calendar year

    and the amount of allowance that a worker is entitled to receive is determined on

    the basis of the average daily wage he has earned during a period of three months

  • preceding the holiday. Only those headload workers who have worked at least 15

    days in the month immediately preceding the approved holiday are eligible to get

    holiday allowance. In 1987 holiday allowance was paid to each worker for 7 days

    in the calendar year at the rate of Rs. 25 per day. Later this benefit was linked

    with the amount of wages remitted in the name of the worker.

    d. Educational grant to workers

    From 1985-86 onwards various Committees started to provide educational

    grant of Rs. 100 each to the workers at the time of the reopening of schools in the

    state. In the initial two years this grant was given to all workers irrespective of

    whether they had any school going children or not. But since 1988-89 onwards

    this grant is given only to those workers who have school going children and the

    amount of the grant has been increased to Rs. 200 per year. Only those workers

    who have a ~ninilnurn attendance of 90 days in the previous year are eligible to

    apply for educational grant.

    e. Immediate medical relief

    The Committee started to provide immediate medical assistance from 1989

    onwards to the workers who met with accidents during work. It amounted to

    Rs. 250 for in-patients and Rs. 100 for out- patients. The advance amount thus

    given is adjusted either in the final medical claim or in his wages. Later, the

    amount has been increased to Rs.1000, or the average monthly wage of the

    worker in the preceding six months, whichever is less, in the case of in-patients

    and Rs.300 or the average monthly wage of the worker in the preceding six

    months, whichever is less, in the case of out- patients.

  • I Medical aid

    If any worker is hospitalised for more than two days, his hospital, expenses,

    sub-ject to certain limits, are reimbursed on claim. The amount given to the worker is

    Rs. 5000 or an amount equivalent to three times his average monthly wages,

    whichever is less. In the case of dependants, the amount is limited to Rs, 2000 per

    year. The beneficiary worker should have an attendance of at least 160 days per

    annuln and he should have contributed to the General Welfare Fund regularly.

    g. Death exgratia

    The Committee pays to the nominee or the heir apparent of the deceased

    headload worker a sum of Rs. 3000 as immediate relief to the family on the same

    day of the death of the worker. In addition to this, the family of the deceased

    worker will be given Rs. 1500 or the average monthly wage of the worker,

    whichever is less, for three months after the death of the worker. The death

    exgratia relief is extended to meet the funeral expenses of the deceased worker.

    The amount of death exgratia was only Rs. 1000 in 1991.

    h. Terminal benefit

    It is stipulated in the Scheme that a sum equivalent to 10 per cent of the

    wages of each worker shall be credited to his account as Terminal Benefit Fund

    at the close of each financial year.8 The worker will be paid the whole amount

    thus credited into his account on superannuation, retirement, disability, death etc.

    No worker will be given any interest on the amount in the Terminal Benefit Fund

    up to 15 years and after 15 years the terminal benefits wilI be paid at a revised

    rate. The accrued interest on the Terminal Benefit Fund is used for granting

    pension benefits.

    As per Paragraph 32 of the Scheme.

  • i. Marriage advance

    Marriage loans are given to workers in connection with the marriage of

    their daughters or dependent sisters. These are interest free loans and the amount

    is fixed at Rs. 5000 or an amount equivalent to three times the workers' average

    monthly wages, whichever is less. The worker should have at least three years of

    service in the Committee and an attendance of 160 days a year to avail this

    benefit. In addition to this, an amount of Rs.10000 or five times the average

    monthly wages, which ever is less, is sanctioned as loan with 12 per cent interest

    and the benefit of the above two loans is extended to the worker's marriage also.

    j. Invalid pension

    The Committee pays monthly pension at the rate of Rs. 150 to all invalid

    workers who have Inore than five years of sewice. A Medical Board constituted by

    the respective District Medical Officer should certify the invalidity of the concerned

    workers. The applicant should have at least 160 days of annual attendance and

    should have paid his share to the General Welfare Fund regularly.

    k. Pension and revised terminal benefit

    The purpose of the Pension and Revised Terminal Benefit Regulations,

    1997, is to extend pension benefits to the workers and to provide for payment of

    terminal benefits at an enhanced or revised rate. The amount of monthly pension

    granted to a worker ranges from Rs.200 to Rs.2400. The minimum family

    pension is fixed as Rs. 100 per month. The monthly pension, family pension, and

    the revised terminal benefit are granted after considering the years of service and

    the quantum of wages received by the worker through the Committees.

  • Headload workers who have not less than six years of service and have

    completed 60 years of age are eligible for pension benefits. In order to avail

    these benefits a worker should have minimum 180 days attendance per year on

    an average. Though 60 years of age is fixed for retirement on superannuation,

    voluntary retirement facility is also provided. A headload worker who has the

    qualifying service of not less than 20 years and has more than 50 years of age is

    eligible for pensionary benefits. Assuming that a worker has an average monthly

    wage of Rs. 3000 and 20 years of service, the amount of pension will be Rs. 750

    per month. If the worker has the same average monthly wage and 25 years of

    service, the amount of monthly pension will be Rs. 1350. The pension benefits

    are given to the workers from the interest on the Terminal Benefit Fund.

    1. Multi-purpose loans

    The Committees provide multi-purpose loans to workers who have at least

    one year of service in the rolls of the Committees for the purchase of home

    appliances, repayment of loans, purpose of marriage, education of children and

    medical treatment of the members of the family. The advance amount is limited

    to Ks. 10000 or half the amount of the workers' deposits in the Terminal Benefit

    Fund whichever is less. The loan is given on the condition that the worker should

    have minimum attendance and monthly wages. The loan amount is repaid in

    instalments with 13 per cent interest. These loans are given to the workers

    attached to those Committees, which are functioning without working loss.

    m. Foreign employment assistance

    The Committee extends assistance to all headload workers who go abroad

    for employment. The amount of assistance is fixed at Rs. 5000 or 50 per cent of

  • 143

    the Terminal Benefit Fund in their credit, whichever is less. To get this benefit

    the worker should have at least 5 years of service and a minimum attendance

    of 180 days per year.

    54.2 Welfare measures adopted by the Board

    In addition to the above welfare measures provided through the

    Committees, the Board has envisaged several welfare schemes for headload

    workers over the past several years. Important among them are the following:

    a. Special death exgratia

    As per the special death exgratia plan of the Board, the nominee or heir of

    the deceased worker is eligible to get the special death exgratia of Rs. 15,000 for

    nonnal death, Rs. 30,000 for accidental death outside the work site and

    Rs. 50,000 for death in an accident at the work site. Though the minimum annual

    attendance of the worker to claim this benefit is fixed as 180 days, it is relaxed in

    exceptional cases.

    b. Award of scholarship

    With the purpose of providing financial incentives to the children of the

    workers studying at various levels, annual scholarships are given to them. These

    scholarships range from Rs. 100 to Rs.3000 per year depending on the class in

    which and the course for which the student is studying and the markslgrades

    he/she receives.

    c. Distress relief

    Workers who are undergoing hospitalised treatment are provided with a

    grant-in-aid at the rate of Rs.60 per day or their average daily wage, whichever is

  • less, for the first two months and at the rate of Rs.30 for the next two months

    subject to a total of Rs. 5400. In the case of the death of a worker his dependent

    will be provided a grant of Rs.750. The applicant for the distress relief should

    have an attendance of at least 180 days in the Committee. Relaxation is given to

    those workers who have more than 50 years of age, provided they have a

    minimum average attendance of 90 days in a year. The workers concerned

    should have regularly paid their contribution in the General Welfare Fund.

    d. Family welfare assistance

    The Board provides an exgratia lump sum grant of Rs. 5000 to workers

    permanently disabled due to any kind of accident.

    e. Superannuation assistance

    A worker who registers with the Committee late in age may not have long

    service at the time of retirement and thereby his contribution to the Terminal

    Beneijt Fund may be less than Rs. 15000. In order to provide every worker at

    least Rs. 15000 at the time of superannuation the Board covers the difference in

    his contribution to Terminal Benefit Fund and provides Rs. 15000 if he has at

    least 180 days of attendance in each year of service.

    f. Marriage grant

    Workers are given the marriage grant of Rs. 2000 for meeting the expenses in

    connection with the marriage of their daughters and dependent sisters. This amount

    will be disbursed only after the marriage. The applicant should have at least 3 years

    of service and a minimum attendance of 160 days a year. On the recommendation of

    the Committee, the Board gives relaxation in certain cases.

  • g. Housing loan

    Housing loans are given to the workers for the construction of new houses

    or for the repaidextension of their existing houses. At the beginning of the

    Scheme the maximum loan amount was fixed at Rs. 25000 for new houses and

    Rs. 10000 for the repairlextension of the existing houses. From 1998 onwards,

    the ainounts have been increased to Rs. 75000 arid Rs. 35000 respectively. To

    avail this loan the applicant should own at least three cents of land and complete

    three years of service with at least 180 days of attendance annually.

    h. Miscellaneous aid to workers

    As per this provision the amount of grant is not fixed as in the case of

    other benefits. The Board, on the basis of the recommendations given by the

    Committees, gives these grants.

    i, Calamity relief grant

    Calamity relief grant is given to the worker whose house is destroyed due

    to any calamities like flood, fire etc. The maximum amount of the grant is limited

    to Rs. 5000 or three times the average monthly wages earned by the worker

    through the Committee, whichever is less. The average annual attendance of the

    beneficiary should not be less than 160 days and he must be a regular contributor

    to the General Welfare Fund.

    j. Family planning assistance

    The Scheme envisages to provide family planning grant of Rs. 1250 to the

    worker or his wife if either of them adopts permanent family planning. In the

    case of the worker, hospital allowance of Rs, 400 will also be given, provided he

    has a minimum of 120 days of attendance in the pool.

    After a time span of 15 years since its inception, the BoarcUCornrnittee

    could implement a large number of welfare schemes. Table 5.4 shows the

  • number of beneficiaries under each welfare scheme from both the Committees

    Fund and the General Welfare Fund. Bonus and holiday allowances are given to

    all workers in the rolls of the Committees.

    A look at the table makes it clear that the number of beneficiaries of all

    welfare schemes except marriage advance has been increasing every year.

    Through the past years the Board and the various Committees have been

    providing several welfare benefits to the workers. The trend shows that headload

    workers, if they co-operate with the Board, will get much protection and security

    under the Scheme.

    Table 5.4

    Number of Beneficiaries Under Each Welfare Scheme from 1996-97 to 2000-01

    No.

    I .

    2 .

    3.

    4.

    5.

    6. 7.

    8.

    9.

    10.

    1 I .

    12.

    1 3.

    14. Note:

    Name of Welfare Scheme

    Bonus to workers

    Holiday allowances

    Educational aid to workers

    Death Ex-gratia T.B.F

    Marriage advance Medical aid to workers

    Invalid pension

    SchoIarship to students of workers

    Distress relief as

    {a) hospital treatment (b) death relief

    Family Welfare (Scheme R.B) Superannuation Agsistance

    Marriage grant

    Housing loan Recoverable loans to workers suc

    2 10 107

    323

    17

    144

    52

    . . etc. are exciuded. But marriage advance is included as it is an interest free loan. Besides only the major welfare measures are included in the cable.

    Source: KHWWB

    139

    2 17 198 22

    200 40

    337

    31 1

    I 289

    I 36 , 284

    6 1 i as bonus advance, f stival advance, multipurpose loans

    463

    3 3 8 52 1

    48

    401 98

    643

    196

    336

    20

    423

    50

  • 5.5 Raison d'btre of the Eligibility Criteria

    We have seen in detail the various welfare measures undertaken by the

    Board and the Committees and the eligibility requirements for granting each of

    them. I'hough there are specific eligibility requirements to avail each of the

    welfare benefits, the BoardlCommittee insists on two common eligibility criteria

    in most of its welfare provisions. They are the amount of wages remitted in the

    name of the worker in the Committee and the workers' total days of work in the

    pool. The 'eligibility criteria' take into account the wage earning capacity of the

    worker by considering two criteria - the wage-based criterion and the work

    based criterion. While the former takes into account the amount of wage remitted

    in the Committee by a worker, the latter captures the workers' capability/

    willingness to expend his labour power. This second criterion takes the number

    of man-days spent by a worker as an index, In other words, the Boardl

    Committee extends its helping hand to a worker taking into account the extent of

    his participation in the labour market and the Scheme.

    As noted earlier the major source of financing the Scheme is the levy

    receipts. In addition to the levy receipts a contribution of Rs. 10 is collected from

    each worker to the General Welfare Fund. The levy receipts depend directly on

    the amount of wages remitted by each worker to the Committees. If the wage

    remittances increase, the Board and the Committee will get more income and

    therefore they can function more efficiently. On the contrary, if the wage

    remittances in the Committees decrease even the existing welfare activities

    cannot be effectively executed. Hence, for the successful functioning of the

    BoardlComlnittee higher wage remittances in the Committees are mandatory.

  • If the wages are uniform and the whole amount of wages payable to the

    workers is remitted in the Committees, the linkage between welfare provisions

    and wage remittances would not have any relevance. However, there are wide

    disparities in the earned wages of workers and the actual remittances of their

    wages. The workers receive a part of their wages in cash and the remaining

    amount is remitted in their names in the Committees. It is thought that if welfare

    benefits are sanctioned on the basis of the wages disbursed to a worker through

    the Committee, honest workers would be granted more benefits. The wage based

    eligibility criterion acts as an incentive to the workers who do not take home a

    major portion of their wages. The denial of benefits is a type of punitive measure

    to those who do not co-operate with the Committees.

    It is true that the amount of wages received through the Committees as a

    criterion for getting benefits aggravates the extent of inequality that already exists in

    the headload labour market. As all the benefits under the Scheme are financed by the

    levy receipts the share of the high wage earners is proportionately high in the total

    fund of the Boardcommittee. So, on the basis of equity and justice it is argued that

    high wage earners have the right to receive more. Besides, many high wage earners

    who receive only a small part of their wages through the Committee will gain more if

    the benefits are equally distributed.

    Even though most of the welfare benefits are given on the basis of the

    wages earned by the worker through the Committees, there are some welfare

    schemes like death exgratia, employment of the dependent of the workers who

    die in harness, invalid pension, family planning assistance etc. which are given

    by the Board/Committee without considering the wages of the worker.

  • Therefore, it is true that instead of reinforcing inequality the Scheme attempts to

    reduce it within its limited capacity,

    Another requirement to receive welfare benefits is the total number of

    days a worker is to be present for work in a pool. For the functional operation of

    the Scheme in an area an employer is obliged to give a levy at the rate of 25 per

    cent of the wages given to the workers. Employers take this financial burden in

    the hope that they would get better service with state intervention in the market.

    Hence, it is the obligation of these Committees to provide prompt and efficient

    service to the employers. Shortage of labour supply at the time of time-sensitive

    work will create many problems to the employers as they are not allowed to

    employ non-registered workers. Hence, employers should be provided with

    sufficient workers as and when required. That is the reason why attendance of

    the workers is taken as a common eligibility criterion (work based benefit

    disbursal) in the provision of welfare benefits to the workers.

    5.6 Settlement of Disputes

    The purpose of the Scheme is not to secure absolute control over the

    labour market but to streamline modes of employment, to discipline the workers

    in their personal and social life and to ensure harmonious atmosphere in the

    market places. We have already observed that the governance of the workers who

    come under the Scheme is entrusted to a Committee with equal representation of the

    workers, employers and the state. In the Committee, the state government is

    expected to act different roles, as the situation requires. If the representatives of

    the employers and workers take a decision unanimously and if that decision is

    not against the provisions of the Act, it is expected that the government acts

  • simply as a facilitator and accepts the decision. I f both the parties stick on to

    their disputing views, then its role is as a mediator to persuade both the parties

    to arrive at a compromise. If such a compromise is not made, then the state is

    expected to be an active participant and take concrete decision on the issue.

    So the roles of the state are different; it acts as a facilitator, mediator and

    decision-maker.

    In the formalisation process of the headload labour market different

    technologies are applied to make the headloaders docile bodies, and as such an

    act of indiscipline cannot remain unnoticed. In the Scheme areas, when an

    instance of misbehaviour of the worker or employer is reported, the first reaction

    generally comes from the leaders of the pool. The leader tries to mediate between

    the accused and the employer, As the Ieaders of the pools have acceptance and

    legitimacy among the headloaders and employers, they can persuade both the

    parties. Moreover, the leaders are well connected to the political parties to which

    they are affiliated. This gives them added capacity as a mediator. But, if the issue

    can not be resolved through the mediation of leaders, then it is taken to the

    Committee. Once such cases of misbehaviour are brought to the notice of the

    Committee, the Committee takes a decision on the matter.

    Though the settlement of disputes is under the jurisdiction of the Labour

    Department, as per the provisions of the Act, the Committee shows much

    initiative to settle them at the earliest. As the headload labour market is highly

    prone to conflicts, an official proceeding for each and every instance of dispute

    obstructs the smooth functioning of the market. Major instances of dispute arise

    on issues related to wages, right for work, area of work, quantum of work,

    delaying of work for overtime or sometimes destruction of goods. The cordial

  • personal relationship between the pool leadershade union leaders and employers

    enables easy settlement of disputes in many instances, even without the formal

    interference of the Committees. The officials of the Committee, themselves or

    together with the leaders of the trade unions or employers, facilitate a speedy

    settlement of the dispute if it is reported unsolved at the primary leveI. There are

    many instances of settlement of disputes through telephonic messages to the

    parties involved in the dispute.

    There are a few instances where the officiaIs give instructions to finish the

    work on the condition that settlement will be made later. In the case of loading

    and unloading of perishable commodities, delaying of work, in effect, may mean

    destruction of the commodities. The acceptance of this unusual formula by

    workers is a testimony to the fidelity and objectivity of the Committee's stand in

    resolving conflicts.

    The Committee usually refers a dispute case to the Labour Department

    only if it is found unresolvable or felt that the involvement of the Labour

    Department is more beneficial in the specific context. The Labour Department

    hoIds a positive attitude of settling maximum number of disputes under the

    initiation and direction of the Committee itself and such a co-ordinated

    functioning between the Committees and the Labour Department is seen

    generally in the Scheme areas. The Committees take a more active role than is

    assigned or expected in the settlement of disputes. Since the Committees

    function in market areas and deal with different issues of the headload labour

    market, they are more capable of settling the conflicts between the different

    agencies, which crop up frequently and in many instances unexpectedly in the

    market areas.

  • In the instances of disciplinary actions and dispute settlements that we

    have just discussed, the tendency is to reduce the role and function of the state.

    The state enters as a conciliator only if no settlement is reached by the informal

    efforts 01' the agents of the market. The state follows the mode of negotiation

    to reach a settlement.

    5.7 Performance of the Committees

    Successful implementation of the Scheme requires efficient functioning of

    the Committees. Though the Board is the apex institution, which is responsible

    for the supervision and co-ordination of the Committees, it is the Committees

    that implement and administer the Scheme at different market places. The

    centrality of the Cominittees is such that the Scheme succeeds only if the

    Cotntnittees succeed. Sound financial position of the Committee is a

    precondition for its efficient functioning.

    'Table 5 . 5 shows the consolidated statement of the revenue receipts of the

    Committees. Though the functional operation of the Scheme began in 1985, the

    real expansion of the Scheme started only from 1990 onwards. The wage receipts

    of the Committees, which stood at Rs. 5 10.46 lakh in 1990-91, increased to

    Rs. 244 1.13 lakh by 1995-96 showing an over all increase of 378.22 per cent

    during this period. The wage receipts of the Committees continued to increase

    during the second half of 1990s as well, even though the average annual rate

    of increase had been relatively less. The wage receipts that amounted to

    Rs. 244 1.13 lakh in 1995-96 increased to Rs. 7637.40 lakh by the year 2000-01,

    registering an aggregate increase of 212.82 per cent. The spectacular increase in

    the wage receipts during the 1990s was mainly due to the spread of the Scheme

    to inore market areas. The levy receipts correspondingly increased along with the

    wage receipts. The interest on the deposits of the Cominittees had also increased

    from Rs. 14.58 lakh in 1990-9 1 to Rs. 393 -61 lakh in 2000-0 1.

  • Table 5.5 Consolidated Statement Showing Receipts of Committees

    (Rs. in lakh)

    Source: KHWWB

    SI.No

    I .

    2.

    (a)

    ( b 3.

    4.

    %.No

    I .

    2.

    (a)

    (b)

    3.

    4.

    1994-95 1992-93 1991-92

    1921.63

    534.25

    208.16

    176.43

    76.82

    291729

    1995%

    Head of Account

    Wages (90%)

    Levy Receipts

    Employers' Levy

    Workers' Ley

    Miscellaneous & other Receipts

    Interest

    Total

    1997-98

    Head of Account

    Wages (90%)

    LevyReceipts

    Employers' Levy

    Workers' Levy

    Miscellaneous&other Receipts

    Interest

    Total

    861.26

    239.67

    95.38

    96.92

    40.59

    1993-94

    725.91

    202.67

    80.51

    76.88

    25.81

    1111.78

    (65.87)

    ( 1 8.3 1)

    (7.14)

    (6.05)

    (2.63)

    (100.00)

    2441.13

    678.09

    271.24

    205.83

    99.52

    3695.81

    3525.72

    979.37

    391.75

    423.85

    161.89

    548258

    (64.57j

    (1 7.97:

    (7.15:

    (7.27:

    (3.04)

    1333B2

    1364.94

    779.90

    151.55

    127.50

    44.95

    (65.30)

    (1 8.23)

    (7.24)

    (6.91)

    (2.32)

    (100.00)

    (66.05)

    (1 8.35)

    (7.34)

    (5.57)

    (2.69)

    (100aO)

    1%97

    (&.31)

    (17.84)

    (7.15)

    (7.70)

    (3 .OO)

    (1 00.00)

    (65.97)

    (1 8.37)

    (7.32)

    (6.16)

    (2.18)

    1 W 9 1

    199&99

    2902.87

    806.40

    322.62

    306.34

    109.74

    4447.97

    - 2000-01

    (100.004 2068N

    510.46

    14 1.75

    56.73

    64.01

    14.58

    787.53

    4477.43

    1,242.95

    497.99

    462.06

    277.19

    6957.62

    (65.26)

    (18.1 3)

    (7.25)

    (6.89)

    (2.47)

    (100.00)

    1999-2000

    7637.40

    2,121.50

    848.60

    I , 177.26

    393.61

    12 17837

    (1000000)

    (64.82)

    (1 8.00)

    (7.20)

    (8.13)

    (1.85)

    (100.00)

    (64.35)

    (17.86)

    (7.1 6)

    (6.M)

    (3.99)

    (1 00.00)

    5999.21

    1,666.31

    667.43

    72 I .48

    335.89

    939032

    (62.70)

    ( 1 7.43) (6.97)

    (9.67)

    (3.23)

    (100.00)

    (63.88)

    (17.74)

    (7.1 I)

    (7.69)

    (3.58)

    (100.00)

  • The expenditure of the Committees can be broadly classified into four

    major heads such as wages, welfare expenses, administrative cost and statutory

    contributions. Amounts spent on bonus, bonus advance, Terminal Benefit Fund

    and loans and advances constitute the welfare expenses of the Committees.

    Statutory contributions are used to meet the administrative and welfare expenses

    of tht: Board. As Table 5.6 shows, while the percentage share of weltare

    expenses had increased during the past years the adrninistrative expenses of the

    Committees, which were 7.84 per cent in 1990-91, had decreased to 4.43 per

    cent of their total expenditure by the year 2000-2001.9 Meanwhile, the various

    welfare expenses of the Committees ( I b+lc+2+3+5 in the table) increased from

    23.06 per cent to 3 1 .SO per cent of the total expenditure.

    In conclusion, an average annual increase of 31.58 per cent in wage

    remittances and a substantial increase in welfare expenses show that the various

    Co~nmittees under the Board, when taken together, made an impressive performance

    in the 1990s. In this context it is also essential to analyse the performance of different

    Cornlittees under the Board individually as this will help us to understand whether

    all Co~nmittees function equally efficiently. The financial viabiIity of the Committees

    may be tested on the basis of the percentage of employers' levy used for meeting

    their administrative costs. As financial viability is positively related to the amount of

    levy deposited on the one hand and is inversely related to the administrative expenses

    on the other side, a decrease in the cost and simultaneous increase in the Ievy would

    be an ideal condition for bettering the performance.

    'J The percentage rate of administrative cost worked out by the Board is based on the total deposit receipt from employers (wages and levy receipts) and deducting payments to workers made by the committees as per provisions of the Scheme. See the nature and difference of calculation of administrative cost based on the hypothetical example given later.

  • Table 5.6 Consolidated Statement Showing Expenditure of Committees

    (Rs. in lakh)

    Source

    Head of Account Expenses on Workers a) Wages b) Bonus c) Bonus Advance Welfare on Workers T.B.F Administrative Expenses Loans and Advances Statutory Contribution a) Contribution to Board

    b) Bonus c) Bonus Advance Welfare on Workers T.B.F Administrative Expenses

    and ~ d v a n & Statutory Contribution a) Contribution to Board b) Contribution to G WF ~ a t a ~

  • 5.8 An Evaluation of the Financial Administration of the Committees

    As per Kerala Headload Workers (Pension and Revised Terminal Benefit)

    Regulations, 1997, "the Board shall constitute and maintain a Terminal Benefit-

    Cum-Pension Fund for the headload workers registered under the Scheme for

    each Coin~nittee by transferring from the Committee fund an amount equal to 10

    per cent of the wages earned by every registered worker in a month, . . . "I0 The

    Committees are also asked to transfer to the name of the Board the funds

    equivalent to the total amount of terminal benefit kept in the books of account of

    each Committee with interest. Therefore, the workers' l e y collected at the rate

    of I0 per cent of the wages of the workers and the interests thereon are to be

    used for giving terminal benefit and pension to the workers. The employers' levy

    collected at the rate of 25 per cent of the wages of the workers is left with the

    Committees for their administrative and welfare expenses. The regular payments

    such as bonus, holiday allowance, statutory contributions and General Welfare

    Fund contributions should be made from the employers' levy and the remaining

    portion can be used for other welfare expenses and the administrative costs.

    Table 5.7 shows an ideal financial management system of the Committee

    with respect to an individual labourer. It is worked out by assuming a

    hypothetical situation. Suppose a worker has an average daily wage of Rs. 150

    and he works for 24 days in a month. Then the system can work out its

    expenditure as follows:

    I D The Kerala Headload Workers Welfare Board, KeraIa Headload Workers (Pension and Revised Terminal Bene$ts) Regulations, 1997, Ernakulam KHWWB, 1999, p.6.

  • Table 5.7

    An Ideal Financial Management System of the Committee with Respect to an

    Individual Worker

    The total amount needed for bonus + Holiday allowance + Statutory

    contributions + General WeIfare Fund Contribution is Rs. 73 14, which amounts

    to 67.72 per cent of the total employers' levy. Percentage of employers' levy left

    with the Committee for meeting administrative expenses and welfare expenses

    other than those mentioned above can be worked out as 100 - 67.72 = 32.28 per

    cent. This shows that the Committee is left with only 32.28 per cent of the

    employers' levy for meeting its administrative expenses and welfare benefits

    other than bonus and holiday allowances. If the wage remittances vary from the

    hypothesised average daily wage of Rs. 150, slight changes may occur in the

    portion of employer's levy left with the Committee. I f the average wage

    Receipts -

    Item

    1. Annual wage (including workers' levy)

    2. Elnpioyers levy

    (25 % of wages)

    Total

    Expenses

    Amount (in Rs.)

    43,200

    1 0,800

    54,000

    Item

    I . Bonus ( 1 1 -5 % of wages)

    2. Holiday allowance

    3. Statutory contributions

    a. 2 % ofwages

    b. Rs. 1 per month

    4. Contribution to GWF

    (Rs. 10 per month)

    Total

    Amount (in Rs.)

    4,968

    1,350

    864

    12

    120

    7,314

  • 158

    remittances is Rs. 50 per day, the percentage of employers' levy left with the

    Committee for the above said expenses will be 29.84 per cent and if the average

    wage remittances is Rs. 300 the percentage for the same wilI be 32.89 per cent

    On m average the committees are left with around 32 per cent of the employers'

    levy for meeting administrative expenses and the expenses for welfare measures

    other than bonus, holiday allowance, terminal benefit, pension and the direct

    welfare measures of the Board. It implies that the Committees should Limit their

    administrative expenses below 32 per cent of the employers' levy. Therefore, the

    welfare measures of the Committees can be increased only by reducing the

    administrative expenses.

    Table 5.8 shows the percentage of administrative expenses to employers'

    levy in various Committees. Among the 34 Committees constituted in the state

    for implementing the Scheme only 14 Committees had their administrative

    expenses below 32 per cent in 1999-2000. This means that in 20 Committees

    either the Terminal Benefit Fund or its interest had been utilised for meeting

    administrative expenses. The long term effect of this over spending may be

    crucial as the Terminal Benetit Fund is to be paid back when the workers retire

    and the interest has to be used for giving pension. It is to be noted very seriously

    that eight Committees viz., Kollam, Kottarakkara, Punalur, Pathanamthitta,

    Alappuza. Mavelikkara, Changanacherry and Thalassery, had utilised more than

    50 per cent of their employers' levy for administrative expenses.

  • Table 5.8 Percentages of Administrative Expenses to Employers' Levy in Various Committees

    SI.No

    1. 2. 3. 4. 5 . 6. 7. 8 . 9.

    10. I I . 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 1 8. 19.

    20. 2 1 . 22 . 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 3 0. 3 1. 32.

    33. 34.

    Source:

    (1999-2000)

    Name of the Committee

    Thiruvananthapuram Kollam Kottarakkara Punalur Pathanamthitta Alappuzha Mavelikkara Chertala C hanganacherry Kottayarn Thodupuzha Ernakulam Wellingdon Island Mattancherry Aluva North Paraur Vypeen Thripunithura Perumbavoor Muvattupuzha Chalakudy Thrissur Kunnamkularn Palakkad Ottapalam Manjery Tirur Ponnani & Edappal Kozhikode Vadakara-Quilandy Thalassery Kannur Wayanad Kasargode

    KHWWB

    Percentage of Administrative expenses to employers levy

    38.17 61.83 55.38 77.33 58.74 74.64 77.14 44.15 55.55 49.52 35,05 20.74 25.66 39.76 26.07 44.89 28.09 27.10 38.79 38.66 28.33 25.17 37.60 29.62 22.99 28.55 34.50 16.80 38.99 26.76 57.92 33.18 27.98 29.08

  • A clear understanding of the financial position and administrative

    efficiency of the Committees is possible when we take into account the balance

    a~nount in the Committees after deducting the Terminal Benefit and Pension

    Fund (TBPF) deposits. If the amount available in the Committees is less than the

    Terminal Benefit Fund deposits, it may be concluded that the Committees are

    moving towards a financial crisis unless precautionary steps are taken to cover

    the deficit in the principal amount and interest. Table 5.9 shows Terminal Benefit

    and Pension Fund dues, the amount available in the office, the balance amount,

    and the outstanding contribution due to the Board in 1999-2000. As the table

    shows the Committees of Kollam, Kottarakkara, Punalur, MaveI ikkara, North

    Paraur, Wayanad and Thalassery have used Terminal Benefit and Pension

    Fund deposits to meet administrative and welfare expenses. In the Thalassery

    Committee the deficit amounted to Rs. 12.55 lakh and in Kollam Committee,

    Rs. 11.05 lakh. Some Committees have taken the interests of TBPF

    deposits for meeting the current administrative and welfare expenses. It should

    also be noted that six Committees viz., Kollam, Kottarakkara, Punalur,

    Pathanamthitta, Mavelikkara and Thalassery have dues in statutory contributions

    to the Board. Kollam Committee has the highest dues of Rs. 12.05 lakh.

    The Committees which have the highest balance amounts after meeting TBPF

    dues are Ernakulam, (Rs. 475.69 lakh), Thrissur (Rs. 255.1 1 lakh) Kozhikode

    (Rs. 138.33 lakh), Palakkad (Rs. 70.22 lakh) and Manjery (Rs. 70.00 lakh).

  • Table 5.9 Statement Showing Terminal Benefit and Pension Fund Dues, the Amount Available in

    the Office, the Balance Amount and the Outstanding Contribution Due to the Board (Rs. in lakh)

    Nore: As on 3 1 March 2000 ,'70urce: KHWWB

    SI.No (1)

    1 . 2. 3. 4. 5 . 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 1 1 . 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 1 9. 20. 2 1 . 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 3 0. 31. 3 2 . 33. 34.

    Amount available in the

    office (4)

    253.07 56.17 20.89 22.64 24.4 1

    2.92 33.85 30.54 37.94

    119.32 68.00 54.05

    166.05 98.69 20.73

    854.34 97.87 36.3 1 35.30 24.23 73.77

    607.56 61.04

    265.85 77.89

    156,3 1 39.89 44.88

    33 1.98 40.47 2 1.43 20.69 64.50 28.87

    3892.45

    Name of the Committee (2)

    Thiruvananthapuram Kollam Kottarakkara Punalur Pathanamthitta Mavelikkara Alappuzha Chertala Changanacherry Kottayarn Thodupuzha Moovattupuzha Mattancherry Thripunithura Wellington Island Ernakulam Aluva Perumbavoor North Paraur Vypeen C halakudy Thrissur Kunnamkulam Palakkad Ottapalam Manjery Ponnani & Edappal Tirur Kozhikode Vadakara-Quilandy Wayanad Thalassery Kannur Kasargode - Total

    Baknce (5) 4-3

    33.13 -11.05

    -6.27 -5.80 0.33

    -1.15 7.99 5.13 1.06 6.59

    16.32 16.32 46.33 24.53

    6.19 475.69

    19.09 3.45

    -3.27 8.2 1

    22.80 255.1 1

    17.27 70.22 34.80 70.00 19.14 7.33

    138.33 12.6 1 -6.17

    - 12.55 27.20

    1.90 1300.81

    TBF Durn (3)

    2 19.94 67.22 27.16 28.44 24.08

    4.07 25.86 25.41 36.88

    112.73 51,68 37.73

    119.72 74.16 14.54

    378.65 78.78 32.86 38.57 16.02 50.97

    352.45 43.77

    195.63 43.09 86.3 1 20.75 37.55 193.65 27.86 27.60 3 3.24 37.30

    . 26.97 2591.64

    Outstanding contribution due

    to the Board (6)

    12.03 2.19 5.56 6.83 1.69

    - - -

    - -

    3.17

    - . 31.47

  • The above analysis regarding the financial perfomance of various

    Committees shows that there has been no uniform level of performance of the

    Co~mittees. If the financial administration of the Committees functioning with a

    working loss is not handled efficiently these Committees will become a liability to

    the Board and workers in future.

    The performance analysis of the disciplinary technologies adopted by the state

    in the headload labour market shows that state intervention has succeeded in

    bringing in some order and discipline in the chaotic labour market. Congregating the

    workers through the registration at two levels has made surveillance more effective.

    The streamlining of the entry of 'outsiders' into the market and regulated inter-pool

    mobility of the workers have been made legal. Wage schedules have been prepared.

    Wagc payments are made on monthly basis. A large number of direct welfare

    measures have also been adopted.

    Whether the state intervention in the headload labour market has been able to

    bring about the desired and expected results is a relevant question in this context. In

    many notified areas the functional operation of the Scheme has not begun so far.

    Some of the non-Scheme areas are high wage earning centres where the Scheme can

    be effectively implemented. The existence of these non- Scheme areas questions the

    necessity and relevance of the Scheme. The Wage schedules are not followed strictly

    in some markets. Wages are not fully remitted in the Committees. An important

    phenomenon to be noted in this connection is that the Scheme has got different levels

    of performance in different areas depending on the specificity of the market and

    efficiency in the functioning of the Committees. Although the outcomes of the

    Scheme are influenced by various factors, heterogeneity among the Committees has

    direct linkage with them. So a detailed case study of the Committees having different

    degrees of success may shed better light on the complexity of their hnctioning. This

    will enable us to situate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Scheme without

    losing specificities.