'Group banking is ideal for migrant workers'

This can counter problem of address verification

Migrant workers should be seen as a separate group when availing banking services and government schemes as they face problems due to lack of address verification said Anil Swarup, director general, labour welfare, labour and employment ministry.

He was addressing a seminar on ‘Community Consultation and Dialogue with Policy Makers on Mainstreaming Financial Inclusion for Urban Poor organised by NGO Nidaan here on Friday.

“The migrant workers, in many cases, do not get benefits as the locals get due to documentation problem. The NGOs working for the workers should locate places where bulk of migrant workers come and help them to open bank accounts in groups instead individually,” said Swarup.

He said huge number of workers migrate from Odisha to Andhra Pradesh. “The NGOs are required to come out with surveys about these locations and contact the nearest district banks,” he added.

Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India, K C Chakrabarty said “there are 10 crore people attached to banks linked with RBI. With 90 thousand branches and 50 lakh transactions taking place every day, issues may arise in case of individual migrant worker opening of bank account.”

Those who have travelled from various villages raised concern over unavailability of pensions and insurance or lengthy procedures and delay in giving the pension.

“Country has not scored well on financial inclusion parameters. There is a great need for mainstreaming financial inclusion to enable the poor access the financial service,” added Swarup.

Swarup said Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana can be a solution to the problem. “The smart card will take care of health insurance, timely pension and identification proof as all these are interlinked,” he said.

However, several complained about being denied of benefits even with the smart card. “I went with this card to a government hospital to avail free treatment. They denied it and asked for cash,” said a woman living on the outskirts of Delhi.

Swarup said there are a few problem places in the city and are being looked into.

Participants said they could not get smart card despite having documents.
“I showed my BPL card and ration card. They then asked me to get more documents,” said another participant.

Swarup added that the scheme is catering to 10 crore people and initial problems will occur. “We are working on such problems,” he said.

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