Explained: What Is E-Shram, How Can Unorganised Workers Avail Benefits

An initiative by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the E-Shram portal intends to extend the government's social security schemes to workers in the unorganised sector

Shachi Sutaria
Update: 2022-01-20 15:31 GMT

Over the last few days, a message has gone viral on social media, discussing a new portal called E-Shram for workers of the unorganised labour section such as domestic helpers and labourers. Launched in August 2021 by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, this scheme intends to create a national database of workers in this sector and to extend the many social security schemes, available in the country. 

According to the data shared by the Ministry, since the inception of the scheme, close to 22 crore beneficiaries have registered on the portal. They have issued E-Shram cards and a 12-digit uniquely assigned number (UAN) to each registered worker. These UANs are linked to the user's Aadhaar card number. 

Who Can Register For The E-Shram Card? 

The government has launched this scheme for the country's unorganised workforce that is not covered by the ESIC and EPFO schemes and do not pay any income tax to the government. This workforce consists of all those who are self-employed and work in various sectors such as agriculture, automobile, construction and includes domestic helps, watchmen, rickshaw drivers, daily wage workers, salesmen, among others. These workers have to be in the age group of 16-59 years old. 

How Can One Register For The E-Shram Card? 

Beneficiaries need an Aadhaar card, a bank account number, and their mobile number. They can choose to create their account online or offline. 

For those who choose to create their card offline, they can visit the closest local centres or post offices and request for a form wherein they need to fill their details and their card and UAN will be issued. 

The workers who wish to register online, have to register on the E-Shram portal. Registration is for free. The user is expected to insert their Aadhaar details and then declare that they do not avail of any benefits under the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) or the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

An OTP is then sent to the Aadhaar-card linked mobile number which once inserted leads to a form wherein the user has to enter personal details as well as details about education, address, and bank details. After this, the card and the UAN are generated. 

The users are expected to update their details annually from the portal between June 1 and May 30.

Benefits of Shram Card

The E-Shram card has been introduced to ensure that workers in the unorganised sector are availing of the various social security schemes and employment schemes introduced by the government across the year. The beneficiaries can avail the accidental insurance of ₹2 lakhs under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana. 

Under this scheme, the beneficiary and their family are provided a benefit of ₹2 lakhs at the time of accidental death and permanent disability and ₹1 lakh in case of partial disability.

Additionally, the beneficiaries also are eligible for schemes such as MGNREGA which provides employment within 15 days, 35kg food grains for those below poverty line and 15kg food grains for those above as the E-shram card will act as a One Nation One Ration Card scheme allowing people to procure ration from any store across the country under the public distribution system, among other schemes. 

The beneficiaries can also avail of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana for health benefits if they have any family member working as a manual scavenger. 

This card will also automatically let the beneficiaries enjoy any new social security schemes that the government designs and initiates in the future. The card is also going to be beneficial when the government launches special packages to tackle issues like COVID-19. 

Does The Beneficiary Have To Pay For The Card Or Insurance? 

While registration and generation of the card is free, the beneficiary is expected to pay ₹12 from the second year onwards towards the accidental death insurance. In the first year, the government provides the insurance for free.

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