The government is planning to draft an ambitious Rs 1.2 lakh crore plan to provide universal social security coverage for the poorest fifth of the country as part of a bigger scheme that’s being planned for all individuals.
This broader programme envisages three categories — the poorest 20%, who will get a government payout; those who subscribe on their own and formal sector workers who will need to set aside a fixed proportion of income toward the scheme.
The labour ministry, which has drawn up the proposal, will soon send it to the finance ministry for vetting and funding with the intent of rolling it out next year as a compulsory scheme that could well form a key welfare platform ahead of the next general election. The scheme will have two tiers. The first of these comprises mandatory pension, insurance (both death and disability) and maternity coverage and the second, optional medical, sickness and unemployment coverage.
“Funds collected under the universal social security scheme will be divided into sub schemes and be ringfenced, meaning the benefits and the contribution will be commensurate,” a senior government official told.