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Alternative Mechanism of Social Protection for Unorganised Sector in India 1. Sharad Singh, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner 2. Meraj Ashraf, Deputy Director National Academy for Training and Research in Social Security New Delhi, India
Content 1. Scenario Mapping (a) Demography (b) Existing Social Security Arrangements in India - Social Security Schemes for the Organized Sector - Social Security Schemes for the Unorganized Sector-Public & Private Initiatives 2. Problems in Universalisation of Social Security 3. Recommendations
Risk Covered under Social Security Statutes Disablement - Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 - Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 Death - Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 - Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 Maternity - Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 - Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948
Risk Covered under Social Security Statutes- contd. Medical,Unemployment Benefit and Disable Pension - Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 Old-age Income Security and Pension - Coal Mines P. F. & Bonus Scheme Act, 1948 - Employees’ P. F. & Miscellaneous Act, 1952 - Assam Tea Plantations P. F. Scheme Act, 1955 - Seamen’s Provident Fund Scheme Act, 1955 Funeral - Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948
All these statutes provide social security coverage to 8% of the workforce only because of threshold and eligibility criteria.
Initiatives for Informal Sector- Public 1. National Social Assistance Programmes (1995) 2.Central Welfare Funds 3. Public Distribution System 4. Varishta Pension Bima (2003) 5.Janshree Bima Yojana (2000) 6. Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS), 2004 7. National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, 2005
Initiatives for Informal Sector- Private - Civil Society organisations (NGO) and Cooperatives • Coverage about 5 million • Not more than 2-3% of the total workforce in the informal sector • Mostly self contributory • Predominantly health-related and maternity risk coverage through insurance companies
Important Private Initiatives 1. SEWA-Women working in informal sector employment-Healthcare and insurance benefits 2. Co-operative Development Foundation-life insurance 3. NIDAN- life insurance 4. YESHASVINI- medical benefits 5. SPARC- medical and disability benefits for slum dwellers 6. ASSEFA – life insurance 7. ACCORD- life, health and property insurance 8. SIFFS –health and life insurance
Constraints & Strategic Issues • Multiplicity of Statutes and implementing agencies • Overlapping of benefits • Absence of urgency and priority • Inadequacy of provisioning • Inefficient existing delivery systems • Fiscal crunch
Recommendations Policy and Specific
Policy Recommendations • National Social Security Policy • Establishment of National Social Security Authority • Reducing Multiplicity of Social Security Agencies and Overlapping of Programme Benefits
Category-wise distribution of the workforce ‘CATEGORY ONE’- 10% - People who are working in the formal sector and are availing the benefits of statutory social insurance schemes ‘CATEGORY TWO’- 30% - People who are living below poverty line and include old age, widows, orphans and persons with disability ‘CATEGORY THREE’- 60% - People who are economically active and working in informal, self-employment and small business sector
For Category One Reforms in existing social security programmes regarding- • Reduction in threshold criteria • Creating synergy between various social security institutions • Capacity Building
For Category Two • Reforms in social assistance programmes • Cost effective social assistance • Streamline and simplify the eligibility criteria • Civil society organisations to be associated in creating awareness and in the process of identification and registration of beneficiaries • Linking up of social assistance programmes with other anti-poverty programmes • Convergence and synergy of programmes and implementing agencies
For Category Three • Workers including self-employed persons are willing and capable to subscribe to special insurance schemes if they feel that they will get value for money • Employment security, health care, and pension are the three main concerns of workers- Studies • Social insurance schemes- specific to the needs and paying capacity • Convenience of access and transaction, and trustworthiness of the implementing agency are the crucial factors
Contributory National Pension Scheme for ‘Category Three’ - Amount of contribution should be flexible - Programmes should be implemented by a public agency - Member/subscribers should be provided a permanent account number in which the contribution will be deposited - There should be a built in provision of family pension and disablement pension through a component of insurance
Contributory National Pension Scheme for ‘Category Three’ - Government can subsidise the administrative cost of the programme - Government may institute a mechanism to provide assurance of a minimum return on the accumulations • Convenience of access through network of public sector banks and post offices for collection of contribution and payment of benefits • NGOs need to be involved creating awareness, enrolling subscribers, facilitating filing of benefit applications and redressing grievances. Thanks!