'Centre may allow merging of social security numbers'

Centre may allow merging of all social security numbers: Report

The authorities think that the multiplicity of numbers needs to be rationalised

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Centre is likely to effect a social security number portability across the formal and the informal sector in the coming days. EPFO subscribers have a unique number and the ESIC also has unique numbers for their subscribers, while a unique number system has also been launched for the unorganised sector, according to a report of the Mint.

The authorities think that the multiplicity of numbers needs to be rationalised and the Aadhaar-linked account number of an employee should remain the same throughout the employee’s work-cycle across sectors.

A government official said, "Crowding of the universal or unique account number (UAN) will adversely impact the social security ecosystem. What is required is a one-time registration, one number and a whole work-cycle for an employee. This is on the table now."

He also added that once the labour code on social security is implemented, it will be easier to work on the portability option. The idea is to have one number across several schemes of the labour ministry and this could be beneficial as they do not clash with each other.

Another official said, "The labour market is changing. People are moving from formal to informal and gig work, depending on the market situation, income proposition, and comfort. A flexible social security portable system here will be beneficial."

The move means that once an individual registers with any social security body, it will remain true across the work-cycle. It will also reduce administrative hassle and boost the ease of doing business.

According to labour and employment secretary Apurva Chandra, "It is possible to have one social security number by allowing portability across organisations. Once it is finalised, the details will be shared."

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox