The Government’s recent decision to raise the pay limit from Rs 15,000/month to Rs 25,000/month to get coverage under the Employees State Insurance Scheme (ESI) without any improvement in service quality has been opposed by a section of trade unions.

In a letter to Labour Minister Sis Ram Ola, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions General Secretary Tapan Sen has called for a review of the decision.

He said that the upward revision of coverage limit would swell ESIC’s kitty, but questioned the concrete steps being taken to improve the quantity and quality of services for the insured persons.

“Despite enhancement of coverage limit from time to time, actual coverage of the insurable population as per the ESIC Act has not improved compared with the increase in the number of industrial workers,” Sen said in the letter.

He urged the Government to instead focus on taking action against defaulting employers both in the case of not enrolling all the insurable workers under their domain and also for not remitting ESI contributions of enrolled workers in time.

The decision to enhance the pay limit for ESI coverage was taken at ESIC’s 160th meeting held in September this year.

(This article was published on October 9, 2013)
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