“Constructing the ESIC Staff Quarters is a part of our responsibility. It is our effort to ensure that the families staying here will be able to avail other allied facilities as well; we want to see to it that the long-pending work makes continual progress and is completed in a satisfactory and time-bound manner, so that there are no complaints. The quarters will house families of 300 – 400 workers. I request the local authorities to bring issues to my attention, so that we can together solve them promptly”.
The Union Minister for Labour& Employment, ShriSantosh Kumar Gangwar said this, at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Staff Quarters for employees of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), in Mumbai today.
The Minister further said:
ESIC is developing ESIC Nagar in D.N. Nagar, Andheri (West), Mumbai, in order to provide better living conditions and a healthy living atmosphere for its employees. The staff quarters and allied facilities are being developed in two phases, within a built-up area measuring about 18,358 sq. m., at an estimated cost of Rs.121 crore. In the first phase, about 228 staff quarters in three multi-storied towers will be constructed, alongwith parking facility for 285 cars.
Compensation to the families of those affected in the fire accident at ESIC Hospital (which occurred in December 2018) was provided on immediate basis. Inquiry Committee had been set up both by the Union Government and the Government of Maharashtra. The preliminary findings of the Committee have come. Once the detailed report is ready, action will be taken against whoever is found responsible for the accident.
The Government is committed to the welfare of labourers; on February 5, 2019, a scheme for labourers in the unorganized sector was launched. More than 40 crore labourers are in the unorganized sector, who don’t get benefits such as Provident Fund or ESI; we want to provide pension benefits to these people once they turn sixty years of age, and we have launched Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) for this. The scheme has been kept very simple, and whoever wants to avail this benefit will definitely get it. All our offices across the nation are working on this, and whoever wishes may join this scheme on voluntary basis. More than 15 lakh people in the unorganized sector have already joined the scheme. We expect this number to reach more than 1 crore by March 31, 2019. We know that these labourers contribute around 50% of the national GDP.
The Government has, in the last four years, significantly increased various benefits, whether it be bonus or gratuity or maternity benefits; minimum wages too has been increased. Enrolment into both ESI and Provident Fund schemes has increased by 1.5 lakh in the last three years. Maternity leave for workers has been increased from the minimum limit of 12 weeks earlier to 26 weeks now; very few countries in the world provide this facility. We also took a historic decision to open doors for women to work in underground mines. Many such other steps have been taken by us for workers’ welfare.
Our aim is that there is no room for complaints by workers, and that we together solve their problems. This is also one of the priorities of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi”.
Member of Parliament, Mumbai (North-West), Shri Gajanan Kirtikar; Member of Legislative Assembly, Andheri (West),Shri Amit Satam; Corporator, Ms. Sudha Singh, officials of ESIC, Mumbai region, employees of ESIC and their families were also present on the occasion.
ESI Scheme in Maharashtra
The Employees’ State Insurance Scheme was first implemented in one Centre at Nagpur in the State of Maharashtra on 11.7.1954 and in Mumbai on 3.10.1954. Thereafter, the Scheme was extended to different parts of the state covering 22 districts. Nearly 1.50 lakh factories and establishments have been brought under the purview of the ESI Act, 1948. 42 lakh employees in the state are covered, who have been receiving various benefits under the scheme. Further, a total of 1.73 crore family members of the insured persons have been receiving various benefits under the ESI Scheme across the state.
The Scheme is being administered in the state, through the Regional Office functioning from Lower Parel, Mumbai, with 6 Sub-Regional Offices functioning from Marol, Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad&Nashik. There is a network of 74 Branch Offices spread throughout the State to provide cash benefits to the stakeholders.
The Primary & Secondary care is provided through 854 Insurance Medical Practitioners (IMPs), 52 Dispensaries and 15 Hospitals, out of which 3 Hospitals are run directly by ESIC. Further, in order to give Super Specially Treatment to the Insured workers, the ESIC has made tie-ups with 251 Govt. and Private Hospitals spread across the state of Maharashtra.
ESI Scheme in India
The Employees’ State Insurance Act was promulgated in the year 1948 and ESI Scheme was launched on 24th February, 1952 at two industrial centres in the country, namely, Kanpur and Delhi. The ESI Act applies to any premises/precincts where ten or more persons are employed. The employees drawing wages up to Rs. 21,000/- a month are entitled to health insurance cover and other benefits, under the ESI Act. The Act now applies to more than 10.33 lakh factories and establishments across the country, benefiting about 3.43 crore family units of workers. As of now, the total beneficiary population of ESI Scheme stands at more than 13.32 crore. Ever since its inception in 1952, ESIC has, so far, set up 154 Hospitals, 1,500 ESI dispensaries, 815 branch/Pay offices and 64 regional/sub-regional offices.