Thursday, 22 March 2012

India: Is social security for all workers, including informal workers, feasible?

The Indian Parliament passed the Unorganized Workers' Social Security Act (UWSSA) in 2008. However, three years down the road, and the Central Government has not yet formulated any social security provisions in keeping with the Act. There is one pilot scheme,  which covers 90 million people, while it is estimated that 430 million workers (or 93% of India's workforce) are informal workers or not organised (and therefore not eligible for existing social security schemes).

The National Advisory Council on Social Security (NAC) has now developed a set of Draft Recommendations to implement the Act.  The recommendations examine the scope of the application of social security, what is meant by a minimum social security package, recommendations concerning the implementation architecture and the financial implications. 
The NAC has recommended a broad definition of worker to include both informal and formal workers. It defines the minimum social security package as including life and disability cover, financial protection against ill-health, maternity benefits and pension upon retirement. 

The detailed recommendations can be viewed here:

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