New Delhi: Fulfilling its promise of providing pension, life and health insurance cover to workers of the unorganized sector, the Central government has decided to constitute a National Social Security Fund with an initial corpus of Rs 1,000 crore.

The constitution of the fund, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minster on Thursday, will support social security schemes for various segments of unorganized workers like weavers, toddy tappers, rickshaw pullers, workers of Beedi industry etc.

The scheme which was announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukharjee during his Budget speech in 2010-11, would benefit close to 4.3 crore workers of the unorganized sector.

“The Union Cabinet today approved the constitution and operation of a National Social Security Fund for unorganized workers with an initial allocation of Rs 1,000 crore to support schemes for weavers, toddy tappers, rickshaw pullers, beedi workers etc. This follows the announcement made by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget speech of 2010-11,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said after the Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

“The Labour and Employment Ministry will implement the schemes,” she informed.

Considering the need for providing social security to the workers of the unorganized sector, the government enacted a law in 2008.
As per the government sources, the scheme is being considered as one of its kind in the world.

The government is also looking at the possibility of providing health and life insurance cover under one scheme, which will also provide financial aid to these workers.

Looking at the different financial conditions and requirement, the government can divide the unorganised sector into two sections and would provide different schemes for each section, sources stated.

While one section would include workers working in handloom and weaving industry, the other would include toddy tappers, sweepers, rickshaw pullers, and beedi workers etc.

The government plans to provide medical aid worth Rs 25,000 to each worker. In case of death of a worker, the family would be given financial aid.

JPN/Bureau