Social Security Scheme Current Affairs - 2019

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Facts Box: Drafts Security Code

The Union Government recently circulated the Draft Security Code that integrates existing labor laws and provides new initiatives to provide social security to workers of unorganized sector, insurance and helath benefits to gig workers. It includes drivers of private vehicle hiring services as well. The code also aims at corporatization of organizations like ESIC And EPFO.

Key Features of the Code

Insurance, life cover, PF for unorganized sector employees

  • According to the code, the Central Government shall formulate welfare schemes for the workers of unorganized sector from time to time on matters relating to life, disability, maternal benefits, health, old age protection.
  • While framing schemes the government will look out for key initiative relating to the workers’ housing, educational scheme for their children, funeral assistance, old age assistance, etc

Corporatization of ESIC and EPFO

The world body for the EPFO And ESIC related world bodies have been added in the scheme. This will bring an end to the autonomous body status of organizations that are responsible for pension, retirement and insurance. It aims to make the EPFO a more structured national body.

Gig Worker

The Gig workers will get insurance, health and maternal benefits under the security code.

Maternal Benefits

Every woman worker under the act will be entitled to payment of maternity benefit. The payment is to be at the rate of average daily wage for the period of her actual absence.

Merging existing labor laws

The Code on Social Security will merge the following laws

  • Employees Compensation Act, 1923
  • Employees Insurance Act, 1948
  • Maternal Benefit Act, 1961
  • Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
  • Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981
  • Unorganized Workers’ Social Security act, 2008

Government extends Atal Pension Yojana indefinitely

Union Cabinet decided to indefinitely extended Atal Pension Scheme, which had lapsed in August 2018. It also has broadened its scope by keeping it open-ended. The extension was given by taking into consideration of mass participation.

New Provisions

To further incentivize people’s participation in the scheme, age criterion for participation has been revised. Earlier, people of age 18 to 60 years were entitled to enroll in this scheme. But now it has been relaxed further to 65 years, taking into consideration rise in average age-expectancy,

Henceforth the scheme will expand its focus to target individuals, instead of households. Moreover, all accounts opened after August 2018 will have accident insurance limit of Rs 2 lakh, double than earlier Rs 1 lakh limit. The overdraft facility of the scheme was also increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.

Atal Pension Yojana (APY)

It is a social security scheme that aims to provide affordable universal access to essential social security protection to unorganized work force of country, which constitute more than 85% of the workforce. It had replaced earlier government-backed pension Swavalamban scheme targeted at the unorganised sector. It was launched in June 2015.

It is available to all citizens of India in age group of 18-40 years (making minimum period of contribution by subscriber is 20 years). There is no exit to scheme before maturity age. In case of death of subscriber, spouse of subscriber is entitled for same amount of pension till his or her death.