Informal Labour Market in India


Empowerment of Women- Government Perspective

Informal Labour:

Informal workers consist of those working in the informal sector or households, excluding regular workers with social security benefits provided by the employers and the workers in the formal sector without any employment and social security benefits provided by the employers.

Dimensions of Informal Labour Market in India:
1. About 92% of the workforce is in informal employment.
2. Informal Employment in organised sector – 54%
Informal Employment in unorganised sector – 99.6%
3. More than 50% of the workforce is self-employed and engaged in the unorganised farm sector.

1. The pattern of industrialization followed during the colonial rule encouraged export of raw materials and import of finished goods. Hence at the time of Independence we were loft with a largely peasant economy.
2. During Independence Inter-caste rivalry as non-farm occupation were mostly castle driven.
3. The labour, intensive sectors like agriculture handicrafts, handlooms, small and rural industries did not expand and remained small in size and the labour employed was informed in nature.
4. The SMEs reservation policy not much of quality employment was created as the units remained small to avail of the subsidies and concessions.
5. Post LPG era the growth of MNCs offshore outsourcing and international sub-contracting has increased.
6. The increasing contract actualisation / casualization of employment has led to a situation of the workforce losing out on job security, social security in terms of benefit for self and family, pension, workmen compensation, minimum wages, oxertime wages for extra hours, exposure to occupational hazards and so on.
7. Ignorance, weak bargaining power due to excess supply of unskilled labour.

Government Measures: (Legislative Measures)
1. The Building and other construction workers (Regulation of employment and conditions of service) Act, 1996
2. The Building and other construction workers cess Act, 1996.
To regulate the wages, working conditions, safety and health, welfare measures etc of these workers.
3. The Unorganized workers social security Act 2008.
To provide social security and welfare of unorganised workers.
4. Contract Labour (Regulation of Abolition) Act 1970
To regulate the employment of contract labour.
5. The Inter-state Migrant workmen (Regulation of Employment – and conditions of service) Act 1979
Welfare Measures for migrant worker.

Government Schemes:
1. Rashtra Swasthya Bima Yojana – 2008
To meet the out-of-pocket health expenses of unorganised sector workers.

2. Atal pension Yojana
To provides a guaranteed minimum pension beginning from `1000 per month.

3. PM Suraksha Bima Yojana
Provides accident and disability cover up to `2 lakh at an annual premium of `12.

4. PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
– To provide life insurance

5. PM Fasal Bima Yojana
To provide financial supports to farmers

6. PM Rozgar Protsahan Yojana
For Employee provident Fund.
7. National Apprenticeship promotion scheme
8. PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana
9. Others: Startup India, stand up India, MUDRA, ASPIRE, Atal Innovation Mission etc.

While the legislative and schemestic initiatives are bound to bring in more informal workers under the social security cover efforts also need to be taken to ensure that the new jobs created are of decent nature.


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