Home / News / India /  Govt to link insurance, pension schemes with informal workers’ database

The government on Tuesday announced plans to integrate four pension and insurance schemes, including health assurance scheme Ayushman Bharat, with the informal sector database that is in the works. 

The other three are: The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana (PMSYM), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), and the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), the labour and employment ministry said. 

The database will be rolled out on 26 August after months of delay and Supreme Court criticism over the labour ministry’s slow pace of action. All informal sector and gig workers to be enrolled in the database—around 380 million at this point of time—will be given a 12-digit Universal Account Number (UAN) and a card that will allow portability of schemes and flow of welfare benefits. 

“Targeted delivery and last-mile delivery has been a major focus… and the National Database of Unorganized workers is another key step towards that," said labour minister Bhupendra Yadav. 

“Years of effort is finally getting materialized, and you will see it benefiting informal workers, gig, and platform workers. Besides, workers in small firms having less than 10 workers can enrol in the database for availing several benefits," labour secretary Apurva Chandra said. 

Ajay Tiwari, director general of labour welfare and a joint secretary in the ministry said it will have multiple usage —the database will see integration of social security (pension, insurance) schemes including PMSYM, PMJJBY, PMSBY and PM-JAY (Ayushman Bharat). Informal sector workers can access, avail, and enrol through this database platform. 

Ayushman Bharat provides a health cover of 500,000 per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to poor and vulnerable families. PMSYM assures a minimum pension of 3,000 to informal workers. It’s a voluntary and contributory pension scheme on a 50:50 basis. Workers in the 18-40 age group are eligible for enrolment. 

The labour ministry also said it may also share information with “other ministries, departments, boards, agencies, and organizations of the central and state governments for delivery of various social security and welfare schemes being administered by them". 

The database, Tiwari said, will also track the movement of migrants from informal to formal sector or vice versa and also within occupations and shall facilitate “portability of welfare benefits to the migrants and construction workers".  While registering, a worker will need to mandatorily share their Aadhaar details, primary occupation, home state and host state address, and bank account details. 

Chandra said he and his team have spoken to state chief secretaries and states will have monitoring committees to keep a tab on enrolment and ground-level implementation. The secretary also said trade unions will be taken along for the exercise as they will be key for making the scheme popular and influencing workers to get registered with the database.

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