The Union Finance
Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that the making social security schemes
accessible to unorganised sector workers is a major challenge, which the
Government is keen to address. He said “ to make health and social
security benefits accessible to un-organised sector workers like
construction workers, migrant labourers, volunteers of different schemes
like Anganwadi workers etc are one of the major priorities of the
present Government”. The Finance Minister was speaking during his second
Pre -Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of different
Trade Union Groups in New Delhi on Monday.
Shri Jaitley said that the present framework of social security was
structured for different groupings –organized, unorganized and those not
employed/BPL, which are functional requirements. He said that there is a
need to ensure a convergence of benefits for all these groupings, above
a minimum threshold.
Finance Minister further said that for employment generation, the
Government has taken many initiatives like Make in India, Skill India,
Mudra Yojana and National Career Service Portal. “Along with skill
development, identifying labour-intensive industries and new areas where
jobs can be created like renewable energy and reusable resources etc.
and providing employment linked training can be some of the ways to
capitalise on the demographic dividend” the Finance Minister added.
The main suggestions made by the trade unions included increasing the
minimum wage to Rs.15,000, especially after the Seventh Pay Commission
recommended the lowest scale start from Rs.18,000; extending the
National Pension System to unorganized sector workers; and increasing
education and health allocations to 6% and 3% of the total budget,
respectively, from 1% at present.