Bengal to observe social security fortnight from tomorrow

A social security fortnight would be observed in West Bengal from January 1 to January 15 next year to popularise various social security schemes for the unorganised sector initiated by the West Bengal government.

"We want to make people aware of various welfare schemes introduced for the marginal and backward people of society engaged in different occupations in the unorganised sector," state Labour Minister Purnendu Bose said today announcing the programme.

Organised by the labour department, the fortnight would help people get detailed information on the schemes.

Bose said for instance the fortning would help people gather information on how provident fund and health security schemes for workers in the unorganised sector and social security schemes for construction and transport workers became more attractive.

At present there are about one crore workers in the unorganised sector in the state and many of them have already registered themselves under these welfare schemes, Bose said.

"If a beneficiary enlists his name at the age of 18 years and contributes Rs 25 against the state government's contribution of Rs 30 per month, at the age of 60 he will get Rs 2.5 lakh under the State-Assisted scheme of Provident Fund for Unorganised Workers (SASPFUW)", the minister said.

While nearly 22 lakh workers were registered under this scheme (SASPFUW) during the 34-year rule of the LF Government, in the last 18 months the state government had registered nearly ten lakh unorganised sector workers registered under the scheme, he said.

The minister said that out of 7.30 lakh total number of workers enrolled under Building and Other Construction Workers Act (BOCWA) as on November 30, 2012, a total of 4.58 lakh were enrolled only during the last 18 months of the present government for various benefits. While the erstwhile LF government spent Rs 1.56 crore in six years, the Mamata Banerjee government spent Rs 23.14 crore in only 18 months, the minister claimed.

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