National policy for domestic workers on anvil: Centre

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya on Friday said the central government was formulating a national policy for domestic workers to provide them social security.

“My ministry is working on a national policy for domestic workers to assure them wage security, job security and social security,” Dattatreya said while addressing a national workshop of informal workers here.

He said the initiative would benefit about three crore domestic workers in the country.

The minister said the government has also “initiated step” to amend the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Acts to bring unorganised workers under its ambit and provide them benefits at par with the organised workforce.

He said about Rs.16,000 crore, collected under cess funds for construction workers, is “lying vacant” with the various states’ welfare boards.

“My ministry has been issuing statutory directions from time to time for proper utilisation of the cess funds for the benefit of the building and other construction workers,” he said.

Under the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, realty developers are required to pay cess of 1 percent of the total cost of construction incurred by the employer.

Meanwhile, the minister said all the unorganised workers would be covered with the universal minimum social security net within a year.

“I am sure, within a year from now, you will see a transformed India where the entire unorganised workforce and their family comprising of 100 crore of India’s population will be covered by universal minimum social security net which will help them live a life of dignity and respect,” he said.

As per census 2011, out of about 48 crore workforce in India, only eight crore come under the category of organised workers, while 40 crore are unorganised workers who contribute 50 percent of the country’s GDP.

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