Centre may announce a database of informal workers in Budget 2021: Report


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget for 2021-22 on February 1.

January 23, 2021 / 09:40 AM IST

The government may announce creation of a database of informal workers and migrants in the Union Budget 2021 to roll out benefits through welfare schemes.

The registry will contain information on up to 250 million informal workers and migrants who are in the 16-59 age group, Mint reported. It will help the Centre and states implement welfare schemes such as pension benefits and other social security provisions, the report said.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely hit workers in the unorganised sector, with several leaving cities in 2020 after the lockdown was announced in late March 2020.

Under the proposed scheme, which is likely to cost Rs 760 crore, informal workers will be able to register under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to avail healthcare facilities, Mint reported.

“The COVID-19 backdrop will be evident in some of the announcements of Budget 2021-22. Both economic recovery measures and welfare measures will see a direct correlation in policy announcements. A national database or repository will be crucial for informal sector workers’ welfare,” a source told the newspaper.

“Once in place, at least half-a-dozen existing schemes can be linked with this database and repository for effectively rolling out contributory social security benefits, as seeding of Aadhaar and bank account will be compulsory for the unorganized sector,” another source told the paper.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the budget on February 1.