Proposed Model of Old-Age System of Sustainable Income Security (OASIS) to the Norganized Labor in India : An Empirical Study

Authors : A. Manjuvani , Amita Danda

Volume/Issue : Volume 3 - 2018, Issue 2 - February

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Previous studies tell us that only seven per cent of the total workforce in India is financially secure with a defined or contributory pension (CPS). And, with a low-income economy like India , providing a pension layer of non-contributory nature to the ninety-three per cent of the remaining workforce is a big challenge, although an initiation has been made in this direction in the form of the National Old-Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) which is at least, catering to some small segments of the society . Therefore, the challenge for the Government of India (GoI) is to locate and integrate social-security schemes in such a manner as to self-provide the income-security for millions of the workforce who will not be in a position in the foreseeable future to secure their old-age through pension or by any other means. The idea is to enroll all the unorganized workers into the CPS model mandatorily in the lines of the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) of England to include all the informal sector workers under one comprehensive old-age income security scheme. This SocialSecurity Policy Paper of Legal Sciences is a thorough Hypothesis-based Testing and Analysis on the topic that includes innovation of techniques in the contemporary socio-legal research to conceptualize a viable option of CPS to the massive unorganized workers in India. In doing so, I have relied on the standard research observation report of the ADB Project Team of the UK in India. The premise of my research paper is that the MGNREGS in India is providing work to the rural wageseekers throughout the year and especially during the off-season too. The jobcardholders of the MGNREGS are themselves quite sure about their capacity to make contributions through their MGNREGS wage-earnings; so the argument presented by the ADB consultants way back in 2004 for excluding them from Contributory Pension Equations for want of contributory capacity falls short. The objection was allowed at that time and the unorganized labor were not included in the pension calculations by the ADB research team in India in 2004. However, their observation that India in due course of time will reach a position to provide them with one is commendable. Upon the recommandation of their report only, the Government of India intruduced a Contributory Pension Scheme to all the workers of the organized secror. That unfinished job can now be reviewed and overruled in the present scenario, by suitably reading the ‘right to work ’ with the ‘right to life’ so that it can be coupled with the ‘right to pension’. The interpretation of the kind must help envisage a special right to these marginalised sections in the form of a ‘work-place pension’ policy. The NEST scheme of the UK is a pioneer in this regard, in providing such pensions to the informal labour which can also form a model replica for the Indian sub-continent. This research paper is a humble attempt to find some answers in seeking “pensions to all” in a country like India with a large unorganized sector. thereby finding an OASIS (Old-Age System of Sustainable Income Security) which may help the poorest of the poor to tide over the vigours of the old age.


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