Maputo, 1 Jul (AIM) - The Mozambican government, through the National Social Security Institute (INSS), has been striving to broaden the basis of contributions to cover the self-employed.
Addressing the closing session on Wednesday of a cycle of hearings on bringing the self-employed into the INSS, Labour Minister Helena Taipo said that the work done so far clearly shows that the self-employed are willing to join the system.
Taipo said that this move will be carried out in phases, the first of which will cover about 5,000 of the self-employed.
The great majority of economically active Mozambicans could be described as self-employed, since they are subsistence peasant farmers. But the Labour Ministry is currently only looking at a group of around 15,000 self-employed who earn an income which makes it realistic for them to pay social security contributions.
According to Taipo, the meetings, held in the country's three main cites of Maputo, Beira and Nampula, which involved the INSS and associations of the self-employed, concluded that self-employers agree that it is high time the initiative be carried out, and they are willing to join.
"So far, 895 self-employed workers have expressed their interest in joining the system", said the Minister.
Taipo stressed the need for the government to broaden the social security network, pointing out that most economic activities that contribute to the country's development do not yet enjoying any state benefits or protection.
The chairperson of the INSS board of directors, Inocencio Matavele, said that the institution will submit to the government Cabinet all the documents on this matter, which have already been drawn up. Only after government approval will the categories to be covered in the first phase be defined.
"Not all categories will be covered in the first phase", said Matavele. "The broadening of the basis of contributions will be gradual, according to the INSS plan. The approval and the work in the field will dictate the subsequent steps. This phase will cover the most prominent activities, such as importers, formal and informal".
INSS currently has 814,000 beneficiaries.
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