Portal launched to register unorganised workers

It will help 38 crore workers access social security schemes

The Union Labour and Employment Ministry on Thursday launched a portal aiming to register 38 crore unorganised workers in the country, eventually to help in the implementation of social security schemes.

Workers would have to register with their Aadhaar numbers on the e-Shram portal to generate an e-Shram card with universal account numbers (UANs). It is with these UANs that they would be able to access social security schemes, Labour and Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra said at the launch event.

Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav said: “For the first time in the history of India, a system is being made to register 38 crore unorganised workers. It will not only register them, but would also be helpful in delivering of various social security schemes being implemented by the Central and State Governments.”

All workers who register on eshram.gov.in will get an insurance cover of ₹2 lakh for death or permanent disability, and ₹1 lakh for partial disability.

Mr. Chandra said the portal would be a game-changer. Attempts to create similar national databases under provisions of the Interstate Migrant Workmen Act, 1979 and the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008 had been unsuccessful. Under the new Social Security Code, 2020, the workers would be eligible for various schemes when the rules under the Code are notified and implemented. Workers would be able to register on the portal through any of the over 4 lakh Common Service Centres in the country if they needed to.

Groups advocating for unorganised workers, however, raised concerns over some of the features.

“The portal has limited access as workers who do not have an Aadhaar card will not be able to register,” the Working Peoples Charter, which is a national network of workers’ rights organisations, said in a statement. “At present, social security schemes and entitlements are not part of the process…The whole registration system does not take into consideration the ‘Digital Divide’ which is creating barriers for workers to not only access but also understand it.”

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