The Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yojana, the government's flagship aam-admi health insurance scheme would be extended to benefit the rickshaw, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers, sanitation workers, rag pickers and mine workers.
P Chidambaram launched the scheme in 2007 when he was the finance minister. RSBY at present is covering 34 million families below the poverty line with a health cover of Rs. 30, 000 per year.
In the budget preceding the election year, Chidambaram has also announced a comprehensive and integrated social security package for the unorganized sector that constitutes 94 percent of the workforce of the country.
The package to include life-cum-disability cover, health cover, maternity assistance and pension benefits is proposed through convergence of the existing aam admi insurance schemes of the government like the Aam Admi Bima Yojana, RSBY, Janani Suraksha Yojana presently run by different ministries.
However, the trade unions have slammed the announcement as a "lollypop" dangled before the unorganized workers.
"The government has promised several measures for the unorganized labour but implemented nothing so far. The FM repeated the same story today with the announcement of the package. It is nothing but a lollypop offered to these helpless workers," Gurudas Dasgupta, CPI MP and a trade unionist told HT.