Centre to use Aadhaar to deliver benefits to unorganised workers
The government is working on a plan to offer benefits like insurance and pension to over 40 crore unorganised workers in India using Aadhaar, Jan Dhan accounts and the existing platform without going for smart cards.
"In view of the near-universal coverage of Aadhaar, the government is now working on a policy on delivery of various public services using Aadhaar, Jan Dhan yojana accounts (JDY) and the existing platform without the issuance of new 'Unorganized Workers Identification Number' (U-WIN Card)," Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Monday. According to the UIDAI portal, Aadhaar has been issued to over 100 crore residents with over 93 per cent adults having the 12-digit unique number and over 25 crore bank accounts linked with it. A senior official said that using Aadhaar can save resources and time for implementing the government's various programmes for informal sector workers, including social security schemes.
The minister also informed the House that the government has proposed a unified IT-based platform for delivery of the services available under various social security schemes. The proposal is being reviewed on the basis of remarks/comments received from various stakeholders. Earlier, the government had planned to launch a smart card scheme for over 40 crore unorganised workers in the country to provide them with various social security benefits such as insurance and pension.
It wanted to provide social security to all those people who are not covered either by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) or Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) through this smart card.
As per the proposal, the U-WIN card would have been a chip-based instrument to provide benefits to these workers and their families under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), Atal Pension Yojana, Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY), Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana. The government wanted to complete the entire task of issuing smart cards to over 40 crore informal sector workers in two years.
On non-distribution of the cards so far, the minister added that the registration, identification and issuance of the smart card to unorganised workers come under the purview of respective states/UTs as per the Unorganised Workers' Social Security Act, 2008.