Employment Centre Srinagar flooded with applicants partly due to misinformation
Srinagar: Chaotic scenes amid a huge rush of people can be seen at the Rajbagh office of District Employment and Counselling Centre (DECC). People, young, old, and mostly women are running from counter to counter with their documents.
These scenes are a daily affair since the Government of India launched Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) scheme that provides for a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to beneficiaries. A Common Services Centre (CSC) from district Srinagar, who has bagged the project for enrolment of beneficiaries, has set up its counter at the DECC office.
But around the same time, on the directions of Supreme Court, all the un-organized workers were asked to register with the DECC Srinagar.
Although there are separate counters dealing with the two separate projects, employees are having a tough time dealing with the situation.
The same timings and address have created confusion among people. What has added to the already confused situation is misinformation about “some sort of loan facility” from the government, which is spreading from mouth to mouth among womenfolk prompting people to throng the centre.
This has not only created problems for the people but also to the employees of the centre who have deal with hundreds of misinformed people on daily basis.
“We heard that there is some sort of loan facility provided by the government with no interest. I heard it was scheme from Modi. All the women from our area came here and we thought we would too avail the benefits of the scheme,” a group of confused women running from counter to counter told Kashmir Reader.
Mohammad Jabbar, 60, who was returning disappointed from pension scheme counter said, “I was told that I will get three thousand every month from this pension scheme but I am not eligible. They say I am too old for this scheme.” he said with an embarrassing smile.
Another youth Shabir Ahmad said that he cannot pay for lifetime to get the pension in return. “We have to pay every month and after getting old they will pay us back our amount with interest,” Shabir said.
“What about now, I am unemployed and I thought I will be getting 3000 rupees per month so that it could give me some respite from the burden to feed my family,” he said.
The Supreme Court of India, in its August 21, 2018 judgment, directed all the states to start the registration of unorganized workers from January 1, 2019. All the state governments were asked to register the un-organized workers of the state with district employment centers so that the unorganized workers can avail benefits from social security and other welfare scheme as may decided by the government from time to time.
The unorganized workers like carpet weavers, tailors, cobblers, potter, hawker/street vendors, spinning wheel workers, automobile mechanics, ponywalas, embroidery workers, who are hitherto not covered under social security schemes shall be brought under the fold of Atal Pension Yojana, Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, Aam Aadmi BimaYojana, and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana.
According to the officials at District Employment Centre, there is no age limit for the registration of unorganised workers and the total target is 125000 registrations. All the formalities for this have to be done manually and no fee is charged from the people. The Srinagar Centre has already registered 22000 people so far and the process would continue for whole year.
On the other hand informal or unorganized sector workers from 18 up to 40 years of age can voluntary subscribe to the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) scheme, which entails a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000.
The scheme would provide them an assured pension of Rs 3,000 from the age of 60 on a monthly contribution of a small amount during their working life.
“This scheme may be called the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan, 2019. It shall come into force on the 15th day of February, 2019….the unorganised workers have option to become the members of the scheme, on and from the 15th day of February, 2019,” the notification issued by the Labour Ministry said.
The monthly contribution by the worker joining the scheme would be Rs 55, with matching contributions from the government. The contributions would rise at higher age. The worker joining the scheme at the age of 40 years would contribute Rs 200, while workers at the age of 29 years would pay Rs 100. The scheme will cover un-organized workers who are working or engaged as home based workers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, cobblers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washer men, rickshaw pullers, landless labourers, agricultural workers, construction workers, among others.
The scheme has been brought under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008. The Government of India will establish a pension fund to be administered for this scheme. The scheme also provides that if a subscriber has given regular contributions and died due to any cause, his spouse shall be entitled to continue with the scheme subsequently by payment of regular contribution.
The enrolment is carried out by the Common Services Centres.
Deputy Director of District Employment and Counselling centre Srinagar Ghulam Rasool told Kashmir Reader that they only register the unorganised workers.
“We don’t provide money and we are only dealing with unorganised workers scheme, where the people can register themselves and may be in future government issue some scheme for that,” he said, adding “We have no concern with Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan , these are the two different schemes.”