Social Security Schemes for Workers in Unorganized Sector

According to the survey conducted by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in 2004-05, 433 million workers were in the unorganized sector which constituted about 94% of the total labour force. Recognizing the need of providing social security to unorganised workers, irrespective of their informal or formal capacity, the Government has enacted the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act 2008. The Act provides for constitution of Nation Social Security Board to recommend social security schemes viz. life and disability cover, health maternity benefits, old age protection and any other benefit as may be determined by the Government for unorganized workers. The Government launched the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana for BPL families (a unit of five) in unorganized sector on 01.10.2007. The scheme providing for smart card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs. 30,000/- per family per annum on a family floater basis, became operational form 01.04.2008. More than 2.51 crore families have been covered under the scheme as on 31.10.2011.

To provide death and disability cover to rural landless households between the age group of the 18 to 59 years, the Government launched the ‘Aam Admi Bima Yojana’ on 02.10.2007 More than 1.78 crore lives have been covered under the scheme as on 31.07.2011. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme provides for old age pension of Rs.200 per month to persons above the age of 60 years. For the persons above the age of 80 years the amount of pension has been raised to Rs.500 per month. The Government is implementing various other employment generation/social security schemes for workers in the unorganised sector, such as Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana, Swarn Jayanti Shahari Rojgar Yogana, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme, Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, Handloom Weavers’ comprehensive Welfare Schemes, Handicraft Artisans’ comprehensive Welfare Schemes, Pension to Mastercraftpersons, National Scheme for Welfare of Fishermen and Training and Extension, Janani Surkasha Yojana, National Family Benefits Scheme, Janshree Bima Yojana New Pension Schemes (Swavalamban scheme) through various Ministries/Departments.

The Government has constituted Welfare Fund to provide welfare measures to the beedi workers and their family members. These include health care, housing assistance, education to children and group insurance etc. The Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge gave this information in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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