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Social Security and Pension Schemes in India – Overview

With a view to providing social security to unorganised workers, including landless agricultural labourers, the Government enacted the “Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008”.  The Act provides for constitution of National Social Security Board to recommend social security schemes, namely, life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, old age protection and any other benefit as may be determined by the Government for unorganisedworkers.

The following are the recent initiatives undertaken by the Government for unorganised sector, including landless agricultural labourers:

The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) was launched on 01.04.2008, to provide smart card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs. 30,000/- per annum on family floater basis to BPL families (a unit of five) in theunorganised sector.

The Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY) was launched on 02.10.2007 with a view to providing insurance cover to the head of family or one earning member ofrural landless households between the age of 18 years and 59 years.

Pension Schemes in India

The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) has been expanded by revising the criteria of eligibility.  All citizens above the age of 60 years and living below poverty line are eligible for benefits under the scheme.

As per Census, 2001, there were more than 10.67 crore landless agricultural workers. Out of which about 5.73 crore were men and about 4.94 crore women.  The female and male landless agricultural labourers are in the ratio of 54:46. Moreover,As per Economic Survey, 2011-12, the agriculture sector accounts for 12.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010-11.

State-wise number of landless agricultural workers (men and women) is as follows.

S.No.States / Union TerritoriesNumber of Landless Agricultural Labourers
  MaleFemaleTotal
1.Andhra Pradesh6453741737841113832152
2.Arunachal Pradesh10329851118840
3.Assam8325084310241263532
4.Bihar8730251468749313417744
5.Chhattisgarh126255918287993091358
6.Goa159701983635806
7.Gujarat250965126520075161658
8.Haryana7171335616881278821
9.Himachal Pradesh556583851394171
10.Jammu & Kashmir19033956082246421
11.Jharkhand148532213659752851297
12.Karnataka262092736060156226942
13.Kerala10783545424971620851
14.Madhya Pradesh351836838823027400670
15.Maharashtra4924034589122810815262
16.Manipur4992863702113630
17.Meghalaya9088880806171694
18.Mizoram127751400826783
19.Nagaland159851492230907
20.Orissa258719624119084999104
21.Punjab11041403857211489861
22.Rajasthan105533214683872523719
23.Sikkim8762823817000
24.Tamil Nadu425636043812708637630
25.Tripura162640113492276132
26.Uttar Pradesh8245599515531213400911
27.Uttarakhand19049469189259683
28.West Bengal508023622827217362957
29.A & N Islands404311265169
30.Chandigarh461102563
31.Dadra & Nagar Haveli5429928614715
32.Daman & Diu3479761323
33.Delhi11224454915773
34.Lakshadweep000000
35.Puducherry421173013472251
 Total5732910049446230106775330

* NOTE: India and Manipur figures exclude MaoMaram,Paomata andPurul sub-divisions of Senapati District in Manipur State as census results were cancelled due to administrative and technical reasons

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