The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has recommended that the government introduce a social security number for migrant workers, especially those in unorganised sectors that are beyond the purview of labour laws.
Such a number is essential to avert situations such as the one at the beginning of the lockdown when several lakh workers had to walk back to their villages from big cities as they were shut out of employment overnight
Government was planning to set up a website to register migrant workers and a worker’s Aadhaar would be used for the registration.
But Aadhaar alone doesn’t work. A social security number will help in mapping the number of migrant workers and their migration patterns.
The Labour Ministry is unable to give any concrete figures on the number of migrant workers.
The panel has recommended that both the State of origin and State where the worker has migrated to should be recorded.
It also pointed out that the government’s Social Security Code Bill, 2019, which is under the committee’s consideration, provides for a social security fund. But there are no specific details in the legislation as to who would contribute to the fund and how it would be utilised.