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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

70% informal workers SC, ST, OBCs; majority in farm sector

The estimations are significant because they offer, for the first time, an indicator of the social profile of the informal sector workers in the country.

Written by Aanchal Magazine | New Delhi |
Updated: November 17, 2021 7:20:14 am
70% informal workers SC, ST, OBCs; majority in farm sectorThe occupation-wise registration data shows the maximum registrations have been seen in the agriculture sector (53.6 per cent), followed by construction (12.2 per cent) and domestic and household workers (8.71 per cent).

Of the over 7.86 crore registrations on the e-Shram portal — the country’s first centralised database of unorganised workers seeded with Aadhaar — 40.5 per cent belong to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 27.4 per cent to the general category, 23.7 per cent to the Scheduled Castes and 8.3 per cent to the Scheduled Tribes.

The estimations are significant because they offer, for the first time, an indicator of the social profile of the informal sector workers in the country.

According to the 2011 Census, the population share of SCs stood at 16.2 per cent and 8.2 per cent for STs. The count of OBCs is not detailed in the Census, but a 2007 survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) had pegged the population share of OBCs at 40.9 per cent. The general category population works out to around 34 per cent.

The occupation-wise registration data shows the maximum registrations have been seen in the agriculture sector (53.6 per cent), followed by construction (12.2 per cent) and domestic and household workers (8.71 per cent).

The portal has been recording primary and secondary occupation of unorganised sector workers, with those in rural areas routinely recording two occupations.

“There are many unorganised workers who shift between informal and formal work and even among occupations. Say, an agricultural labourer may also work as a construction worker at a different point of time in the year. So, the portal is registering information based on primary and secondary occupation. Usually for rural areas, two occupations are being seen for the unorganised workers. The workers will be able to update their details so that the data remains dynamic and up-to-date,” a senior labour ministry official told The Indian Express.

For agriculture, West Bengal leads with a 13.38 per cent share or 1.05 crore registrations, followed by Odisha with 10.5 per cent share (82.6 lakh), Uttar Pradesh with 9.15 per cent (71.9 lakh), Bihar with 5.71 per cent (44.9 lakh) and Jharkhand with 3.03 per cent (23.82 lakh). The highest registrations have been seen for crop and farm labourers and field crop and vegetable growers.

In the construction sector, West Bengal leads with 17.03 lakh registrations, followed by Uttar Pradesh (14.95 lakh), Bihar (13.13 lakh) and Odisha (12.04 lakh), with the highest registrations being recorded for building and construction workers followed by those working on houses.

At 68.47 lakh, the third highest registrations have been seen for the occupation category of ‘domestic and household workers’, of which the highest share is of domestic cooks (56.02 lakh) followed by cleaners and helpers (12.45 lakh). Uttar Pradesh has recorded the highest share of registrations for domestic and household workers at 21.63 lakh, followed by West Bengal at 14.29 lakh and Bihar at 13 lakh.

The government recently expanded the occupational categories from 160 to 400 to enable a wider classification of the work profiles of unorganised sector workers. “The categories will help workers to register their nature of work in detail and later on also help in matching requirements for employment opportunities,” the ministry official added.

Women workers account for 51.61 per cent of the total registrations. Over 61 per cent of the total registrations are by workers belonging to the 18-40 years age group. Also, 86.33 per cent of the total registrations are linked with bank accounts.

The income-wise classification of the registration data shows that 92 per cent of the registrants have monthly income of Rs 10,000 and below, 6 per cent have income between Rs 10,000-15,000. Besides, 1 per cent have income between Rs 15,000-18,000 and 0.5 per cent have income between Rs 18,000-21,000, the data showed.

After registering on the e-Shram portal, unorganised workers will have a Universal Account Number on the e-Shram card that will be valid across the country and could be used to link with various social security schemes.

The government has already announced linking accidental insurance with registration on the e-Shram portal. If a registered worker meets with an accident, he/she will be eligible for Rs 2 lakh on death or permanent disability and Rs 1 lakh on partial disability.

The labour ministry is also undertaking work on linking this database with the Unnati portal, which is proposed to be a labour matching platform for workers to find employment.

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