Govt tweaks Covid-19 relief scheme for unorganised workers



In the early days of the pandemic last year, a Covid relief scheme ended up earning the government more shame than fame, thanks to the scam unearthed in its implementation which came to be known as labour-gate.

Now, the State government is tweaking a similar scheme ‘Covid-19 Relief to Marginalized/Unorganised Sector’ and is hoping to reach out to labourers affected by the pandemic by putting in place a better system for scrutiny of beneficiaries.

The changes effected will ensure beneficiaries are verified and recommended by a scrutiny committee for each district.

The North Goa Scrutiny Committee will comprise of a deputy director of the social welfare department as its chairman, an assistant accounts officer and the district welfare officer as secretary. A similar scrutiny committee will shoulder the task in South Goa.

Beneficiaries will also have to submit a self declaration stating their annual family income is below Rs 3-lakhs which will have to be attested by a gazetted officer of the State government. Earlier applicants were required to file a notarized affidavit stating their annual family income.

It may be recalled that in July-August last year, the State government distributed financial aid to construction labourers but it was later revealed that many of those who got the money were not even labourers and in some cases workers of the ruling party. The matter was even adjudicated by the Lokayukta and the ACB is still investigating.

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