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Constraints in the success of E-Shram

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September 17, 2021

What is the issue?

With the launch of E-Shram web portal, several constraints have been identified that questions the viablility of the initiative

What is the E-Shram portal?

  • The portal is expected to create a unified database for unorganised workers to help them access various benefits of central and state government welfare schemes.
  • It aims to register 38 crore unorganised workers.
  • It will cover construction labourers, migrant workforce, street vendors and domestic workers, among others.
  • Workers can register on the portal with the help of Aadhaar and bank account details.
  • They will be issued an E-Shram card containing a 12-digit unique number.
  • Registered workers will be eligible for Rs 2 Lakh on death or permanent disability and Rs 1 lakh on partial disability.
  • The registration on the portal will be coordinated by the Labour Ministry, state governments, trade unions and Common Service Centres.

To know more about E-Shram portal, click here

What are the constraints in the success of E-Shram?

  • Long process - The gigantic nature of registering each worker will be a long drawn process with low pace of registration in the initial stages.
  • Data security - The absence of a national architecture relating to data security raises concerns especially when it is a mega-sized database.
  • Definitional issues - The scheme excludes workers covered by EPF and ESI and workers aged over 59 from its ambit hurting their welfare.
  • Aadhaar-seeding - Many workers will not have an Aadhaar-seeded mobile and Aadhaar-seeding is a controversial issue with political overtones especially in North-eastern regions.
  • Complex identities - Unorganised may have ever-changing identities where they move between formal and informal sectors.
  • Gig workers - Gig workers are included by the Labour ministry while they are excluded by the other three Labour Codes creating legal confusions over the classification of gig/platform workers.
  • Dependence on State governments - In many States, the social dialogue with stakeholders such as trade unions is rather weak or non-existent.
  • Corruption – Middle service agencies such as Internet providers might charge exorbitant charges to register and print the E-Shram cards.

How can it be addressed?

  • Involvement of surveillance agencies is crucial to address the issues of corruption.
  • Government must publish statistics at the national and regional levels of the registrations to assess the registration system’s efficiency.
  • For efficient and leakage-less delivery ,triple linkage of One-Nation-One-Ration Card , E-Shram Card (especially bank account seeded) and the Election Commission Card can be done.
  • Need for inclusion of a person from receiving social assistance and benefits for holistic success.


Source: The Hindu

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