New Delhi: Oil ministerDharmendra Pradhan has asked all state-run oil companies to help contract workers and labourers open bank accounts to expand coverage of cashless transactions in the country and prevent contractors from depriving the workforce by siphoning part of their wages.

Addressing the annual safety awards function organised by the Oil Industry Safety Directorate on Tuesday, the minister said it is common knowledge that the contractors do not pay the full amount they charge from the companies. This will stop if it is ensured that labourers and worker are paid through their bank accounts.

“Demonetisation (of high-value note) is “the Prime Minister’s revolutionary initiative” towards creating a new financial architecture in which safety for oil industry should not only mean the physical safety (of plants, machinery and operators).

“During a recent visit to Siliguri (fuel) depot, I found that (contract) drivers were being paid wage of Rs 3,000, whereas the company pays Rs 15,000 to the contractor. These labourers and workers are similar to the pillars and bases of your (drilling) rigs and (refining) columns. Oil industry stands on the pillars of these labourers and we must ensure they get their rightful due,” he said.