The number of unorganised workers registered on e-SHRAM portal, the national database of informal workers under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, has crossed 10 crore.

As on December 1, over 10.06 crore workers had registered on the e-SHRAM portal since August 26 when the portal was launched.

e-SHRAM portal has been made available to the States/UTs to register all eligible unorganised sector workers, including construction workers, vendors, domestic workers, agriculture workers, migrant workers, and similar subgroups of unorganised workers seeded with Aadhaar, in the country.

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Presently, in West Bengal over 2.17 crore have registered, in Uttar Pradesh about 1.95 crore, 1.22 crore in Odisha and 1.08 crore in Bihar, according to information provided by Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Labour and Employment.

Benefits for workers

One of the key objectives of the portal is to facilitate benefits of social sector schemes to the workers.

They are eligible for accident insurance cover of ₹2 lakh for a year free of cost through Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY). Also, they are eligible to avail benefits of PM-SYM & NPS-Traders Pension Schemes.

“We believe that e-SHRAM is a big step towards the formalisation of employment. Our estimates indicate that till date the rate of formalisation due to e-SHRAM is around 17 per cent and will increase further,” Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser State Bank of India, said in his recent research report.

Formalisation of an economy is always better from a policy perspective. Our estimates show that 11.4 crore tax-paying households or 8.5 per cent of the total population contributes to ₹75-lakh crore or 65 per cent of the private final consumption expenditure and cross subsidises 91.5 per cent of the population, the report said.

Hence, it is important and ethical that even as we formalise, we must support honest tax-paying households through a better designed tax structure, particularly with regard to indirect taxes on items like fuel, the report added.