The State government of West Bengal has introduced the Social Security Yojana by combining five separate beneficiary schemes for workers in the unorganised sectors and for self-employed people.
The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting held on 17 April 2017. The meeting was led by the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
• The Yojana is expected to benefit around 5 Cr people, with around 1 Cr getting direct benefits.
• The five earlier schemes include:
- State Assistance Scheme for Provident Fund for Unorganised Sector
- West Bengal Unorganised Sector Workers’ Health Security Scheme
- Social Security scheme for Construction Workers
- West Bengal Transport Workers Social Security Scheme
- West Bengal Bidi Workers Welfare Scheme
• The Trinamool Congress-led state government has spent around Rs 880 Cr between 2011 and 2016 to bring more than 85 lakh people under the schemes.
According to the state’s Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, workers from over 46 unorganised sectors including bidi workers, book-binding workers, motor mechanics, boatmen and ICDS workers, as well as self-employed people from 15 sectors including the jewellery manufacturing sector, will stand to benefit from the all-encompassing new scheme.
Overall, people will be able to derive more benefits from the new scheme in comparison to the five earlier ones.
Besides this, the state government has also introduced another scheme- State Nutrition Mission, which is aimed at ensuring distribution of nutritious food among pregnant women, lactating mothers, children under the age of six years and adolescent girls.