India's unorganised sector
Smart Card scheme for unorganised sector workers likely soon. In Picture: Workers make auto parts inside a workshop in Faridabad, India, Dec. 24, 2015.Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is soon likely to launch a smart card scheme that will provide social security benefits, including pension and insurance, to about 40 crore people employed in unorganised sectors, Press Trust of India reported on Feb. 10.

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said that the Unorganised Workers Identification Number (UWIN) card would provide social security measures to all people who are neither covered by employee's provident fund organisation (EPFO) or employee's state insurance corporation.  

"Within one month Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch smart card called UWIN card. We have sought time from the prime minister for launching it for over 40 crore workers in the country," Dattatreya said in New Delhi.

The chip-based smart card would provide benefits to the unorganised sector workers and their families under various government programmes such as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, Aam Admi Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.

In the first phase, it would take two years for the government to roll-out around 10 crore such smart cards. On being asked about the government's plan to invest in funds that lie inactive in the employee's provident fund, the minister said, "We are custodians of the worker's money. The worker can come and claim his or her funds," PTI reports. 

Employee's Provident Fund or EPF is a retirement benefit scheme wherein all salaried employees contribute a fraction of their salary every month that can be used after retirement. The fund is maintained and overseen by the EPFO.