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All you need to know about e-Shram: India’s new database for unorganised workers

With over 90 percent of India's labour force in the informal economy, this database could address some concerns of informal workers who are deprived of minimum wages and social welfare benefits.  The Indian government on August 26 launched the eShram portal – a National Database on Unorganised Workers (NDUW). "The portal will help towards the much needed targeted identification of the unorganized workers," Minister for Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav said. Who is this database for? The database is for all informal sector workers aged between 16-59, including: Gig and platform workers (drivers for Uber, Ola, Zomato, Swiggy, etc) Construction workers Migrant workers Street vendors Domestic workers Agricultural workers Excluding criteria: There are no income criteria, but the workers must not be income tax payees and must not be members of Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) or Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Initial registration target: The government initially plans to register 9 crore unorganised workers primarily from Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam, Chattisgarh, and Delhi by the end of this year. Ultimately, it aims to cover 38 crore workers. Budget: The labour ministry has currently allocated a budget of approximately ₹404 crores for the registration of the unorganised workers on the eShram portal. Why do we need this database? According to the International Labour Organisation, almost 90 percent of India's labour force is in the informal economy. This is around 40 crore unorganised workers. Although it was known before, the pandemic shed further light on the plight of these informal workers who are mostly deprived…

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