With almost 8.43 lakh informal sector workers registering with their Aadhaar cards on the e-Shram platform, the Centre is in contact with states to ensure that social security systems for them are converged and that they are matched with job possibilities.
The worker database will be linked to Unnati, the proposed labor-matching platform, to achieve this. Officials indicated that once the 38-crore registration objective is met, it will provide information on the number of migrant workers, including those who were previously registered with the organised sector.
“At first, the e-Shram portal’s registration process contained a question about whether a worker is a migrant worker, but that item was later removed. When the registration procedure is completed, the data will be analysed to determine the difference between home and work addresses. The category of migrant employees will be determined if the job address is outside of the hometown, according to a senior official.
For blue-collar and grey-collar jobs, this database will be linked to Unnati. According to an official, both employers and employees will have access to this. “Prior negotiations have taken place, and work on integrating the e-Shram portal’s database with the Unnati portal will begin in 6-8 weeks,” the official stated.
On the portal, almost 400 occupational categories have been included. “For example, if a municipality wishes to hire masons or other labour for local projects, they can utilise the database to find and hire them,” the official explained.
Officials stated the database will be analysed to see if any workers had previously registered with the formal sector through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), because both registrations use the same 12-digit identifying number, the Universal Account Number (UAN).
Within the government, there is a growing consensus that social security must be universalized, with schemes tailored to the categories of organised and unorganised workers, as well as those who migrate between the two.
“Discussions are being held with states for better convergence of schemes at the state and Central levels. There is going to be a proper database of Aadhaar-seeded identification of workers, which will help in better streamlining of benefits. This may be a slow process but will be a positive process,” another senior Labour Ministry official said.
The government has previously indicated that accidental insurance will be linked to e-Shram registration. If a registered worker is injured in an accident, he or she is entitled to Rs 2 lakh in the event of death or permanent disability, and Rs 1 lakh in the event of partial disability.
For the first time, the e-Shram portal will give information on unorganised sector workers such as migrant workers, gig workers, agricultural labourers, anganwadi workers, street vendors, and domestic workers. Currently, such a database is mostly available to organised labour through EPFO-registered workers.