Centre may set up social security fund: Minister
Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya on Thursday said the Centre is considering creating a social security fund.
He said the central government would start the registration process for the multi-facility 'Unorganised Workers Identification Number' (UWin) card in the next one or two months.
"Going forward, if required, a social security fund will be created. The creation of a social security fund is under our consideration. A committee has already been set up for that," he told reporters here after inaugurating the new office building of the Employee's State Insurance Corporation.
He said the existing social security benefits like employees' provident fund and employees' state insurance are contributory in nature.
Elaborating on the UWin card, which is meant for giving social benefits to unorganised labourers, he said the Centre is aiming to cover 43 crore such labourers under the identity card scheme.
"We will be starting the registration of the UWin card in the next one or two months. It will be Aadhar linked," he said.
In the first phase, the Centre wants to cover 10 crore unorganised workers under the UWin card, the minister said, adding that state governments are required to participate in the scheme actively.
Speaking on the retirement fund body EPFO's investments in the stock market, he said the central government has decided to invest 15 per cent of its investible fund to exchange traded fund (ETF) in 2017-18.
Around Rs 23,000 crore of the Rs 1.5 lakh crore of investible funds of the Employee's Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will be invested in ETF in the current fiscal, the minister said.
"We have got 12.36 per cent return (from investments in exchange traded fund) which is encouraging," he said.
Ministry of Labour and Employment, Secretary, M. Sathiyavathy, said the government has invested around Rs 22,000 crore in the ETF in 2016-17.
"Further to that, we will be investing another Rs 23,000 crore in 2017-18 which will come to Rs 45,000 crore by end of the current fiscal year," Sathiyavathy added.
The Centre has embarked on a project to codify the existing 44 labour laws into four laws in order to simplify them.
The four codes will be related to wage, industrial relation, social security and working conditions.
Among the four codes, wage code bill is expected to be placed in the next Parliament session after getting cabinet nod, the minister said.