The Employment State Insurance Corporation has decided not to extend the Covid Relief Scheme beyond March 24.

Sources in the ESIC told BusinessLine that though a proposal to extend the scheme for one more year was there in the agenda, Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav informed the ESIC governing body at its meeting held in Gurugram that there is no need to extend the scheme as the Covid situation is under control now.

The agenda circulated among the governing body members said the pandemic is still continuing and the Omicron variant has spread. “The Minister, however, told us that there is no need to extend the scheme,” a member in the ESIC board said.

Bridge disparity

The meeting also decided to bridge the disparity in scales of medical professionals and others personnel between ESIC and ESIS. The remuneration of the doctors and staff in the corporation will also be revised, Yadav said addressing the meeting. The meeting also discussed reports on the three sub committees formed in the last meeting on strengthening of information technology, improving service delivery to insured persons, expediting construction of hospitals and dispensaries, capacity building and effective human resource management in the ESIC.

“Some of the major recommendations involved path breaking strategies such as issuance of a policy paper for consultation with the state Governments to recruit all categories of medical and non-medical personnel required by the State-run hospitals centrally and deploying them as per sanctioned strength. Entire expenditure for such deployment of manpower is to be borne by ESIC,” a release from the ESIC said.

Preventive health check-ups

Meanwhile, Yadav said employment opportunities are increasing in the country, citing the recent survey reports of the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) and EPFO payroll data. He added that health check-up of labourers will be conducted by ESIC hospitals. Factories/MSME clusters will be considered as a unit and ESIC will coordinate with them for the preventive health check-ups of the workers.

“The health will be conducted in a total of 15 cities as part of the ongoing pilot project,” he added.