The Ministry of Labour and Employment (“Ministry”) has released a press note dated April 03rd, 2023 wherein, the Ministry has provided with on-the-go registration and updation facilities to the unorganized workers vis a vis E-Shram portal in integration with Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (“UMANG”) mobile application. The said move has been introduced by the Ministry on the basis of the statistics achieved as on March 27th, 2023, with respect to state wise registration on E-Shram portal. Further, Ministry allocated a total of INR 704.01 crores (Indian Rupees Seven Hundred and Four Crores approximately) for National Database of the Unorganized Workers (“NDUW”) for the financial years 2019-2020 to 2024-2025 out of which a total of INR 418 crores (Indian Rupees Four Hundred Eighteen Crores) has been utilized as on March 24th, 2023.
Furthermore, to improve the utilization of funds, the Ministry has undertaken several new measures to increase registration on the E-Shram portal by way of providing multi-channel registration facility to the unorganized workers across the country.
The following are some of the measures undertaken by the Ministry:
- To provide registration facilities at village level, Common Services Centres (“CSC”), a special purpose vehicle along with 4 (four) lakh Village Level Entrepreneurs (“VLEs”) have been onboarded;
- To promote more registrations on the E-Shram portal, the Ministry has also released Information, Education, and Communication (“IEC”) funds to the states thereby, allowing the respective states to accordingly plan some activities to achieve the desired goal i.e., increased registrations;
- To provide on-the-go registration and updation facilities to the unorganized workers, the Ministry has integrated the E-Shram portal with UMANG mobile application;
- To mobilize workers in the unorganized sector, the Ministry from time to time has organized registration camps and drives to allow unorganized workers to register themselves on the E-Shram portal;
- To increase the pace of registration, regular review meetings are being held with CSC; and
- In states where CSC outreach is not prominent, the Ministry have onboarded State Sewa Kendras (“SSKs”) to facilitate registration of the unorganized workers.
It is interesting to note that the measures undertaken by the Ministry to facilitate registration of unorganized workers on the E-Shram portal seems to align with the objective of the Labour Codes to provide social security benefits to the unorganized workers. Such progressive steps by the Ministry is the need of the hour, not only to ensure that the social security benefits are rightfully extended to the vulnerable workers across all the sectors but also to protect them from any discriminatory practices and exploitation.