Thursday, September 24, 2009

The first meeting of the National Social Security Board constituted under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 was held here today under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Labour and Employment, Shri. Mallikarjun Kharge.

Welcoming the Members, the Minister said that the enactment of this legislation was a major step towards providing social security to the unorganised workers in the country. Stating that about 94% of our workforce is in the unorganised sector, Shri Kharge said that these workers are mostly poor and many of them migrate from one place to another in search of livelihood and therefore are generally deprived of social security.

He pointed out that the enactment of ‘the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008’ was only a beginning and it would be government’s endeavour to extend the benefits to certain segments of the unorganized workers who are above poverty line (APL) as well. He said that the States have already been advised to extend the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) to other construction workers. The possibility of extending the RSBY to NREGS beneficiaries is also being explored, the Minister added.

The members applauded the efforts made by the Government which included the implementation of Rashtriya Swashtya Bima Yojana (RSBY) under which more than 63 lakh smart cards had already been issued. The members also gave a number of valuable suggestions, including the one relating to setting up of an independent institutional mechanism for implementing welfare schemes.

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