New Delhi: With the majority of India’s workforce being in the informal sector, the government is planning a mix of strategies involving the local bodies such as Panchayati Raj institutions in taking social security schemes to the workers.
With the opening up of economy and technological advancement bringing millions of people into less secured jobs like outsourcing, construction and self-employment, the social security umbrella has to be expanded to protect their interests, Union Labour and Employment Minister Oscar Fernandes said here on 19 May.
“As the workforce is increasing in the informal sector, we are working out various strategies to provide basic social security benefits to them,” Fernandes said, while speaking at an international conference on social security.
“The Government is planning a mix of various strategies such as extending the scope of existing social security schemes, welfare funds as well as social assistance schemes with the help of NGOs, unions and associations as well as by making possible use of local administrative structure and Panchayati Raj institutions,” he said.
Referring to a national survey which revealed that as many as 433 million people were working in informal sector out of a total 459 million-strong workforce in the country, Fernandes said, “Our government is committed to providing social security and social protection to all workers in the informal sector as well.”
The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day ‘Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting on Socially Inclusive Strategies to Extend Social Security Coverage,´ organised by the International Labour Organisation and attended by government representatives and workers from 21 countries from the region.