SSYs for unorganised sector workers see major boost
Kolkata: In a significant improvement in the social security schemes for the workers in unorganised sectors, the Bengal government has completed the digitalisation of data of more than 55 lakh beneficiaries in the state so far.
The state Labour department, the implementing authority of the Samajik Suraksha Yojana (SSY), has set a target to include 1.2 crore beneficiaries within the schemes, aiming to provide income security and various social benefits to the people engaged in unorganised sectors.
SSY schemes were introduced by the state government in 2017, following the initiative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who laid an emphasis on the improvement of socio-economic conditions of the people working in various unorganised sectors. Prodded by the Chief Minister, the state Labour department chalked out an elaborate plan for a comprehensive coverage of social benefits.
The various schemes that are falling under the SSY are State Assisted Scheme of Provident Fund for Unorganised Workers (SASPFUW), West Bengal Unorganised Sector Workers Health Security Scheme (WBUSWHSS), Social Security Scheme for Construction Workers (BOCWA), West Bengal Transport Workers Social Security Scheme (WBTWSSS) and West Bengal Bidi Workers' Welfare Scheme (WBBWWS). To provide uniform benefits to each and every unorganised worker, the common benefits of all these schemes were integrated and converged into a single and more comprehensive scheme for the benefits of the beneficiaries, many of whom are illiterate.
As per the latest available report, digitalisation work has been done for 55,39,368 beneficiaries in the state so far. According to sources in the Labour department, many more beneficiaries have already been brought under the SSY schemes, the data of whom are yet to be uploaded in the system.
The department has a target of bringing 1.2 crore people under this scheme and upload their data in the online system, so that every individual in the state can avail the benefits of the social schemes of the state government.
The state government had also received an award in the national arena for the conceptualisation and effective implementation of the schemes, a senior official of the department said. SSY is one of the best labour welfare schemes that have brought about a change in the lives of people across the state. The digitalisation of data has helped the department to maintain a centralised information system, where all the information related to any individual is available at the click of a mouse.
This will bring more transparency in the system and maintain the records of beneficiaries. The online maintenance of data will also help the department to check multiple entries. For example, earlier there was a possibility that an individual could apply for some benefits from two districts simultaneously. But the digitalisation of data is helping the department check such incidents.
Unorganised workers are getting financial assistance of Rs 20,000 per annum for any ailment and the amount extends up to Rs 60,000 per annum in case of hospitalisation. They are also entitled to get provident fund after the age of 60.
The state government also extends financial assistance to the beneficiaries, so that their children can pursue higher studies. Workers in hazardous jobs also get benefits under the scheme. Construction workers are entitled to get additional benefits like invalid pension and family pension. Transport workers are also entitled to get additional medical benefits and family pension.