The informal sector’s share in the total workforce of the country

 The Census projection report shows that the proportion of working age population between 15 and 59 years is likely to increase from approximately 58 per cent in 2001 to more than 64 per cent by 2021. In absolute numbers, there will be approximately 63.5 million new entrants to the working age group between 2011 and 2016. Further, it is important to note that the bulk of this increase is likely to take place in the relatively younger age group of 20-35 years. From the domestic angle, the chapter focuses on trends in social-sector spending both at central and state levels. It looks at social-sector policies implemented by the government, particularly poverty alleviation and employment generation, health, education, rural infrastructure, development of the weaker sections of society, women and child development, and social security. This section and the one that follows examine the major dimensions of inclusive development like poverty alleviation, employment generation, health, education, and social welfare besides reviewing the progress of important government programmes in these sectors. Inclusive development can be viewed in terms of progress in social and financial inclusion. A large part of the population, particularly segments like landless agricultural labourers, marginal farmers continue to suffer social and financial exclusion. Accordingly, the government’s policies are directed towards economic and social upliftment of these segments so as to enable everyone to reap the benefits of growth and bring marginalized sections of the society into the mainstream. This is also reflected in social-sector expenditure by the government. The Unorganized Workers Social Security Act 2008 came into force from 16 May 2009 with the objective of providing social security to unorganized workers.

workforceThe Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Rules 2009 have also been framed. Constitution of the National Social Security Board in 2009 was another significant step. The Board recommended that social security schemes, namely the RSBY providing health insurance, JBY providing death and disability cover and Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) providing old age pension be extended to building and other construction workers, MGNREGA workers, Asha workers, Anganwadi workers and helpers, porters/ coolies/gangmen, and casual and daily wagers. Central government expenditure on social services and rural development (Plan and non-Plan) has consistently gone up over the years. It has increased from 13.38 per cent in 2006-7 to 18.47 per cent in 2011-12. Central support for social programmes has continued to expand in various forms although most social-sector subjects fall within the purview of the states. Major programmespecific funding is available to states through centrally sponsored schemes. Some of the important schemes are as follows: The MGNREGA, Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana, Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY), Janashree Bima Yojana (JBY), Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), The Unorganized Workers Social Security Act 2008, National Social Security Fund, Bilateral Social Security Agreements, Bharat Nirman, Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHIP), Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP), Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Scheme (ILCS), etc.

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