Social security for workers sought

A two-day Southern Regional Consultation by the National Centre for Labour (NCL) that commenced here on Thursday has called upon the government to form the crucial Social Security Board for unorganised sector workers in the State.

“It's been four years since the enactment of the Unorganised Workers' Social Security Act. Yet, few States, including Andhra Pradesh are interested in implementing the Act that is indispensable for the welfare of millions working in the unorganised sector,” said N.P Samy, General Secretary, NCL.

Unorganised sector workers like migrant labourers, factory employees, home-based workers, or any other self-employed workers, contribute to over 60 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) but are still deprived of benefits.

Formation of the Board would entail initiation of welfare schemes for the workers who have been plagued by irregular or non-payment of wages, job insecurity, unaffordable education and healthcare and suicides, said Dr. Pravin Sinha, Senior Labour Advisor, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES). The suitable welfare schemes are provident fund, employment injury benefit, education for children, housing, old age homes, etc.

While officials of the Labour Department said that setting up of the Social Security Board is imminent and that several welfare schemes for workers are already being implemented, efficacy of the claims were questioned by organisations at the conference.

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