The Centre’s push to transfer salaries of informal sector workers to bank accounts has made an impact in Gurgaon as more than 2,300 new accounts were opened in the last four days.
Industries and construction sites are organising camps to open savings accounts for workers. However, there is reluctance among workers who feel bank accounts are useless as they do not have considerable savings.
Industrial associations have pitched in to spread awareness among small-scale industries and labour contractors to get bank accounts opened for their employees. As many as 300 camps have been held since Saturday, with banks receiving more than 5,000 applications from workers for new bank accounts.
The Centre has been pushing industries to open bank accounts for workers so that their full salaries are deposited in accounts and the idea of a cashless economy can be materialised.
“All industries have been directed to open bank accounts and start depositing salaries in those accounts,” Ramesh Chandra Nayak, lead district manager, Gurgaon, said.
He said there are a total of 186 bank mitras (assistants) in Gurgaon district of which 39 are active in rural areas. He said with the help of these assistants, the operators at government common service centres would be trained in cashless transactions.
But workers have their reservations about opening bank accounts. “What will I do with an account when I have no savings? Our salary is so less that we spend most of it on meeting daily expenses and send the remaining to our villages,” Uday Singh Gaya in Bihar, working in an industrial unit in Sector 18, said.
Deepak Maini, general secretary of Industrial Development Association, Gurgaon, said there is a lack of awareness about bank accounts among workers in small-scale industries. “We are approaching small-scale industries and labour contractors to open bank accounts for workers,” he said.
Some small-scale industries and firms are also approaching associations to facilitate opening of accounts. “Banks are holding camps in large-scale firms but there is a need to cater to small-scale industries too. We will coordinate with banks for this,” Praveen Yadav, president, Gurgaon Udyog Association, said.
Data of workers without bank accounts sought
The lead district manager’s office has written to the district labour department, provident fund officials, and employees’ state insurance corporation officials to collect data from employers about bank accounts of employees. “The information about the number of employees who have bank accounts and who do not have bank accounts has been sought. Information about banks and liaison officers is also needed so that the exact number of workers without accounts could be assessed,” Nayak said.
The city has been divided into three zones for collections of details. The labour department will collect details from those who are on the right side of Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway from Delhi border to Rajiv Chowk, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation will collect details from the left side, and the Employee’s State Insurance Corporation will collect details in the area from Rajiv Chowk to Manesar.
November 26 - 16 camps - 257 applications
November 27 - 57 camps - 1059 applications - 70 accounts opened
November 28 - 76 camps - 2125 applications - 1343 accounts opened
November 29 - 160 camps - 1674 applications - 921 accounts opened