SOCIAL SECURITY CAMPAIGN FOR PEOPLE’S DEPENDANT IN INFORMAL ECONOMY
Bhubaneswar,7th January 2016: (By Biswaranjan Mishra)-Unorganized workers in unorganized sector in Odisha are substantially contributing to the economic growth of the State in many ways but their socio-economic conditions have not been improved due to State apathy. So they face so many problems like poor health condition, substandard working life, and harassment at work place, inadequate & unequal wage structure, long working hours, poor housing facilities, lack of safety measures, no proper education for their children and the like. The policy of affirmative action for unorganized workers by the State has paid very less attention. On the other hand, there has been very minimum mobilization for unorganized workers by trade unions and social movements to address the specific issue. The continuous negligence of unorganized workers by the State has serious impact on their poor socio-economic condition where they play a major role in informal economy. Demanding universal Social security schemes, Minimum wages- Rs-600, Primary health services at Labour Adda, ESI facilities. 50 % reservation in private school under the banner of ANASANGATHI SRAMAIK MANCH ODISHA organized a consultation here today at Redcross Bhawan . The programme inaugurated by Former Finance Minister shri Panchanan kanungo . Addressing to the august gathering Mr. Kanungo said that unity is most necessary to address the rights of the unorganized workers. Among others Dr. Souribandu Kar General secretary AITUC, Radhakanta Sethi Ex- MLA, Panchanan Senapati HMS, Senior Journalist Jatindra Dash, Mahendra Parida Member State social security Board joined as guest. The objective of the campaign shared by Gobinda Nayak Vice president of the manch. The programme Presided by Jyotshnarani mishra president of the manch. Lastly Prakash Samal proposed a warm vote of thanks to all. The programme coordinated by Mandaradhar Bej, Phulamani patra , pradeep BadaJena and other’s
The campaign demands that the universal social security schemes should have the following minimum features:
- Old Age protection. All old aged persons (men and women), widows and physically/challenged persons, not under a formal social security cover, should be provided with a pension which is at the level of half of the national minimum wage. The age of eligibility for pension must be revised to 50 years for women and 55 years for men in the informal sector. Within this, special relaxation must be made for the particularly vulnerable workers in various occupations and social groups.
- 2. Health & Maternity. The universal health package should be made available through the public health system and should cover OPD and Diagnostics. Women must be unconditionally entitled to a maternity benefit for nine months (3 months before delivery and 6 months after delivery) at an amount not less than half the minimum wage.
- 3. Life and Disability cover: Workers must be provided an insurance of Rs 100,000 for death by natural causes and Rs 200,000 for death due to accidents. This should be along the lines of the provisions of the Construction Workers Welfare Board.
Further, we urge the government to take the following steps for the implementation of the social security programmers:
- Ensure, within six months, that all informal workers are provided with ID cards for social security which should be solely based on self-declaration. Such registrations should not use biometric identification systems. Also this must be independent of all existing identification cards, such as Aadhar and U-WIN. The union budget must bear complete fiscal responsibility for this process.
- A single Ministry should be created which would responsible for the provision and implementation of social security. All necessary funds for the programmers should be transferred to the Unorganized Workers Social Security Fund.
- Amendments should be made to the Unorganized Workers Social Security Act (UWSSA) 2008 to make the provision of universal social security schemes rights based and with universal coverage. Portability must be ensured.
- The creation of the National and State Social Security Boards should be mandatory under the Act and should be done within six months. The Boards should be given the necessary powers and should not be only advisory. Workers’ Facilitation Centers should be set up as mandated by the Act.