Why Maharashtra Is Asking Housing Societies To Collect Data On Domestic Workers
A gardener prunes plants outside a residential apartment building in Palava City on the outskirts of Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Why Maharashtra Is Asking Housing Societies To Collect Data On Domestic Workers

The Maharashtra government has asked all cooperative housing societies in the state to collect data on domestic workers employed by residents for enrollment in a pension scheme.

The household workers would be enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan scheme, a senior official from the Labour Department told BloombergQuint on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media. The last day for submitting information is April 21.

The scheme, launched in March 2019, is meant for unorganised sector workers with a monthly income of up to Rs 15,000. It’s expected to benefit up to 10 crore labourers and workers and covers 122 different categories of work.

The official cited earlier said the Labour Department is requesting for the data as it’s facing a shortfall of manpower, adding that housing societies have been asked to provide details in a prescribed format.

What’s This Scheme?

  • Government aims to provide social security to unorganised sector workers in their old age. The pension covers people in the age group of 18-40 years.
  • Workers will have to pay a monthly premium ranging between Rs 55 and Rs 200 depending on their age.
  • The government will deposit an equal share in the pension account of workers every month.
  • The money saved will provide beneficiaries an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 from the age of 60.

The Maharashtra government, however, is collecting data for domestic workers of all age groups but the scheme’s benefits will be restricted to those between 18 years and 40 years. So far, the state has enrolled 6 lakh unorganised workers under the scheme, the officer said.

But the move initially caused confusion among members of housing societies as the information came via WhatsApp, said Ramesh Prabu, chairman of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association. “Many thought it was fake until the government clarified.”

That was because the government failed to publicise this scheme well, he said. “As this collection drive has started during the lockdown period, people are finding it tough to get the data as most domestic workers aren’t reporting to work these days.”

“At MahaSeWA, we’d like to bridge the gap of information between the housing societies and the department by forming different teams and reaching out to the societies to make it a successful drive,” Prabu said.

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