Wooing unorganised sector workers ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Narendra Modi government will pay part of their premium to make them enrol in three flagship schemes, including the to-be-launched Ayushman Bharat.
Sources said the decision was taken at a meeting of the National Social Security Board (NSSB) chaired by Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar and attended by trade union leaders.
Though the quantum of premium to be paid by the NSSB on behalf of the unorganised sector worker was not decided in the meeting, sources said the aim is to get more and more enrolled in the schemes, which also includes Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.
The government will soon decide on the quantum of premium it will deposit on behalf of these employees.
The decision comes ahead of the launch of Ayushman Bharat, a medical insurance scheme that the government claims will cover 10 crore poor families in the country, on September 23.
This move is aimed at wooing the unorganised sector employees, whom the trade unions count at around 43 crore, at a time when there is stress on jobs and employment generation.
In another move on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a hike in their monthly honorarium for Anganwadi and ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers from October.
Those who drew an honorarium of Rs 3,000 will from now on get Rs 4,500 and those who used to get Rs 2,200 will get Rs 3,500. The honorarium of Anganwadi helpers will be hiked from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500.
There are a total of 12,83,707 Anganwadi workers and 10,50,564 helpers while there are around nine lakh ASHA workers in the country.