There is no income criteria for registration on the portal, but the individual does not pay income tax.
An important hallmark of a welfare state is that it should work on social security measures for the workers of the unorganized sector, so that the benefits can be extended to the people below the poverty line. The Center has taken a commendable initiative to prepare a database of workers. E-shram, where all the workers in the unorganized sector will be registered to ensure that social security benefits reach them properly. This portal was launched in late August and lakhs of workers have already registered here.
But to make this initiative worthwhile in such a large country, the government should not depend on online registration. This online registration is quite easy and the government does not need to deploy manpower and resources to register the individuals. It is also more convenient for the workers, as they do not have to go to any office and do not have to queue with documents. However, it requires two things. First, the worker should have access to an easy internet connection. Second, he should be literate enough to navigate the portal and enroll successfully.
The registration process will also not depend solely on the existing database. However, it can be linked with the database. There is no income criteria for registration on the portal, but the individual does not pay income tax. Given that only a few crore people are income tax payers, there are a large number of workers who can be enrolled as workers in the unorganized sector.
If a person registered on the portal meets with an accident, he will be paid Rs 2 lakh on death or permanent disability and Rs 1 lakh on partial disability. Workers will also get a Universal Account Number, from which the benefits of social security schemes can be easily availed.
In view of this huge challenge, the government should take the help of Panchayats to reach out to all the towns and villages of the country in far flung areas to make the database comprehensive. The pandemic has wreaked havoc in the country, leaving lakhs of people jobless and many below the BPL line. Due to this many people have come to the unorganized sector for their livelihood. The portal has to capture the latest demographic details arising out of this situation.