Geneva: India has performed poorly in
providing social security protection to its people until
recently with "very high vulnerability" to poverty and
informal labour practices in the world, according to a report
released by the International Labour Office (ILO) on Tuesday.
In its first comprehensive `World Social Security
Report`, the ILO has suggested that India has not done enough
in the arena of social security
protection, which is reckoned
as the "human face of globalisation, in line with its fiscal
The social security programmes include proper health
care, pensions, social assistance and unemployment benefits.
In India, much of these benefits are extremely limited with a
large majority of population ineligible for these benefits.
"Clearly, this is one side of the coin [story] where
India performed below its capacity in coverage and expenditure
for broad social security measures until recently," said
Krzysztof Hagemejer, one of the authors of the report.
"But the other side of the coin is that there are new
schemes such as national employment guarantee scheme and the
health scheme for 300 million people and their effects yet to
be captured," he said.
Both China and India which have now become the global hub
for production of goods and services respectively have not
paid much attention to social security protection measures
because of their increased preoccupation with "Washington
Consensus" that emphasised growth without redistribution, said
Michael Cichon, director of ILO Social Security Department.
"There is considerable change in these two countries in
the recent period," he argued.
Historically, social security measures played an
important role in western countries and they reduced the
degree of pain during serious economic
It is now estimated that only about 20 per cent of the
world’s working age population and their families have
effective access to comprehensive social protection systems.
Only, 17.2 per cent per cent of global GDP is allocated to
social security and these expenditures are concentrated in
Further, 40 per cent of the population of working age is
legally covered by contributory old-age pension schemes with
Asian counties having only a 20 per cent share.
More disturbingly, less than 20 per cent of the elderly
people receive pension benefits in India and elsewhere as
compared to 75 per cent of people aged 65 or over receive some
kind of pension.