Guest Contributor: Himanshu Kalra
Disclaimer : Views expressed in the article are solely of the author.
Unemployment in America rose higher in three months of COVID-19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession. It recorded 14.7% unemployment rate in April 2020 which is highest in the country in post – world war II era all because of Covid-19. Another developed economy UK recorded its highest unemployment rate (4.9%) since 2016 due to COVID-19.
Massive job losses happened in the global economy and millions of workforces have unemployed so is there any temporary solution to the problem.
Yes, that is SOCIAL INSURANCE
Social Insurance, is a public insurance program that provides protection against various economic risks (e.g., loss of income due to sickness, old age, or unemployment, disability). It is also sometimes interchangeably used as Social security. The idea was introduced in Europe and later adopted by US.
In 2019, In US alone 69.1 million people received benefits from social security programs out of which 55% of adult beneficiary were women. (SSA Publication No. 13-11785)
So, if this can help so much people does it implemented in India?
The organized sector of India is taken care of but the problem arises for unorganized sector which accounts for nearly 90% work force of the country.
It is important to cover them under national social security programs by providing old age pensions, maternity benefits to the workers in unorganized sector.
Though there have been steps like PMJAY (https://pmjay.gov.in/), Household Supply Card scheme (https://nfsa.gov.in/portal/apply_ration_card), Housing for All and many more but inability due to any circumstances, lack of awareness and reachability issues along with many more leads to inefficiency of the schemes.
The possible solutions can be:
Today if anyone (unorganized Sector) has to be fully covered he/she has to apply through various portals, various cards like Household Supply cards, various applications, if all that combined into one single card with SSN (social Security Number) with nation wide applicability, with just one card BANG! you are good to go.
Community based specific schemes.
The schemes can be modified buy the specific needs of the community for example if you look a village where farming is a primary source only few needs household supplies shops in the area so the social security scheme can be modified and be more focused on medical insurance, maternity and much more this would be a more efficient way to serve the people.
Here, Insurtech can help a lot in designing community-based schemes as Insurtech combines Technology (AI) into Insurance to provide effective and efficient results.
Planned Community Accountability
The achievement of social insurance calls for planned involvement of the concerned communities and overcoming inabilities and inefficiencies at various levels to reach the desirable goal.
To conclude India needs some major reforms to cover its unorganized sector under Social Securities Benefits.
UK unemployment – https://www.ft.com/content/5bf2aaf5-c3ad-4a9a-9083-feccd8becac6
India’s Unorganized Sector – https://www.newindianexpress.com/opinions/2020/may/30/what-is-it-that-ails-our-informal-sector-2149869.html