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Post at: Oct 08 2021

SOCIAL SECURITY MEASURES FOR INFORMAL WORKERS

Why in News?

  • In August, the parliamentary standing committee on labor has released a report on the impact of covid-19 on rising unemployment and Job loss.
  • The panel seeks government to improve social security measures and take initiatives like Direct Cash transfer, MNREGS-like Job guarantee scheme for urban poor.

Why Need for Social Security Measures

  • Citing the Periodic Labour force survey 2019-20, the report said around 90% of workers were in the informal sector the covid-19 pandemic hit the most informal sector in rural and urban areas.
  • Moreover, 9.5% of workers had informal nature of Jobs even though they were employed in the formal sector,
  • No survey data available as yet on impact of the second wave which has undisputedly been more sever than first.
  • The consequential effects on loss of Jobs during rising unemployment, indebtedness, health and education of unorganized workers.

Highlights of Parliamentary 
Committee's Report

  • The Ministry of Labor delayed responding to the migrant crisis when covid-19 struck
  • The pandemic has devastated the labor market, denting the employment scenario and threatening the survival of millions of workers and their families. 

Recommendations of Committee in Pandemic Situations 

  • Urban employment guarantee scheme - There is an imperative need for putting in place an Employment Guarantee programme for the urbon workforce in line with MNREGA.
  • PM-SVANidhi scheme - It suggests converting loans granted to street vendors direct to cash grants and keeping detailed records of them for provisions of relief and rehabilitation.
  • Universal healthcare - Universal health for informal workers.
  • MNREGA Reforms - It suggests increasing maximum days of work guaranteed under MGNREGA from 100 days to 200.

Significance of Social Security

The significance of Social Security is classified as follows-

Way Forward

  • The Labour ministry should take up issue of timely completion of PLFS with the statistics and programme implementation ministry.
  • A comprehensive and a robust monitoring and enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance to labour legislation. 
  • Creating a common database of informal workers. 
  • Streamlining registration process of informal workers.  
  • Need formalisation of informal sector to increase its productivity and creating awareness about entitlements.  


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