Special Correspondent

Proposed changes include an amendment to its title

ID card to have all details of dependent family members

It should also have validity for migrant workers

NEW DELHI: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has redrafted “The Unorganised Sector Workers’ Social Security Bill” as it found the draft legislation inadequate to meet the aspirations of the people concerned.

The new draft was tabled by the committee in both Houses of Parliament on Monday along with its report on the Bill. Committee chairman S. Sudhakar Reddy told journalists that since the proposed amendments changed the very nature and structure of the Bill, members thought it prudent to draft fresh legislation.

The committee said in its report that the Bill reflected the government’s “unimaginative approach” and exposed the absence of a proper and sufficient spadework required for such significant legislation. The proposed changes include an amendment in the title of the Bill, definition of various significant terms, and composition of the national and State social security advisory boards and functions assigned to them.

To ensure that the Bill covered the entire workforce of the country — irrespective of the sectors — the committee suggested that it be called “The Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Bill.” The term ‘unorganised sector’ in the body of legislation was further elaborated to specify that in the case of agriculture, ‘enterprise’ would mean landholding that was less than two hectares. Again to ensure that agricultural workers were not left out, it said that the term ‘unorganised sector’ should be qualified as “whether in agriculture or non-agriculture.”

Against the earlier definition of ‘identity card’, the committee said it should be a multi-purpose and multi-sectoral one having details of all dependent family members of workers. It should also have validity for migrant workers so that they do not face difficulty while moving in search of jobs elsewhere. And, the committee would like the panchayats and municipalities to be involved in the issuance of identity cards.

Given the continuous changes in the employment pattern — particularly, with increasing incidence of outsourcing work by the public sector — the committee said the proposed law should cover all casual and contract workers of the unorganised sector, besides categories such as anganwadi workers, who do not fall within the ambit of either the organised sector or the unorganised sector.