Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will shortly launch the second generation reforms as per which it will have Pan India presence covering over 650 districts of the country with its healthcare and community dispensaries facilities, according to its Insurance Commissioner, ESI, Arun Kumar.
Addressing a Seminar on Implementation of ESI Act & The Schemes Framed Thereunder under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi recently, Kumar also said that the corporation has decided to take in its fold all construction workers, according them with ESI benefits.
However, the ESIC is likely to propose to charge the financial contribution from construction worker’s employers to give them ESI benefits which would be drawn from the various welfare boards in which the construction companies deposit their construction cesses, indicated Kumar pointing out that this thinking is on progress at the higher level of bureaucracy within the union labour ministry.
Elaborating on the issue of second generation reforms in ESIC, Kumar said that currently ESIC has its healthcare and hospital facilities around 300 districts where the workers avail of medical and healthcare facilities. The facilities would be extended to all districts of the country from March 2017 onwards.
He also informed that ESIC insured persons would be entitled for 26 weeks of maternity benefits from existing 12 weeks for which the corporation would bear the financial burden instead of employers.
Likewise, the wage threshold ceiling of workers for availing of ESI benefits is likely to be enhanced to Rs 21,000 per month from the current wage limit of Rs 15,000 per month for which a notification would come about in next few days although intentional notification to this effect has already been issued.
In the deficiency of rural healthcare services, this expansion is expected to bring some relief to the rural workforce.