Ministry moots National Social Security Authority

The Labour Ministry has mooted the idea of forming a National Social Security Authority, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a separate Social Security Department within the ministry to provide social security to the entire population in a bid to prop up the government’s pro-worker credentials, according to a concept note reviewed by The Hindu.

The authority may have all the ministers and secretaries of all ministries dealing with social security programmes along with state government officials as members.

“The functions of the authority should be mainly to formulate the National Policy on Social Security and to co-ordinate the central and state level programmes and to ensure that the objectives of the policy are achieved within the time frame prescribed,” according to the note. It said the proposed Social Security Department within the Labour Ministry will provide “policy inputs” and “secretarial services” to the body.

The idea comes at a time when the trade unions have announced fresh nationwide protests on March 10 against the government's “anti-labour policies.”

The note proposes a four-tier system to cover the entire population of the country, including both formal and informal sector workers, through a common Social Security Code. It said the current social security programmes and schemes can be “strengthened” and universalised.

It said the first tier would include the “destitute and people below the poverty line,” the second tier would have workers in the unorganised sector who may be covered under a subsidised scheme and the third tier would cover workers who can, with the help of employer, can make contribution to the schemes.

The fourth tier would include people who “are comparatively affluent and can make their own provisions for meeting contingencies or risks as and when arise.”

The note “visualised” that the social assistance programmes for the first tier shall be based on tax revenue.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:00:36 PM |

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