14 August :A special drive would be undertaken by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to bring in more workers under their coverage. Several other steps were being contemplated to improve the delivery system of these organizations and make them more efficient.
This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge) Shri Oscar Fernandes at the meting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry held here late last evening.
Apprising the Members of the Consultative Committee of the recent initiatives taken by the Government, the Minister said appointment of four Fund Managers in place of one would bring in greater efficiency and higher returns for the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). He said that to bring in more efficiency and momentum in the working of the organization, EPFO is implementing a project ‘Reinventing EPF India’ and the first phase of project would be completed within the next 10-12 months. This, he said, would ease and speed up data and record compilation of EPF and would help in making it more transparent and efficient. Steps are also being contemplated to strengthen the grievance redressal machinery and restructure the organization, the Minister said.
Highlighting the efforts of ESIC to improve the delivery of benefits to Insured Persons and to improve their satisfaction levels, the Minister said that the ESIC has decided to modernize its entire service delivery by implementing a comprehensive IT Roll Out plan. He said that all ESI Hospitals would get ISO Certification to ensure quality services. The process has already been started and four hospitals have obtained the certification. An action plan has been taken up for strengthening preventive and promotive health care including occupational health, the Minister added.
Besides, the Government has also decided to constitute a Hospital Development Committee in each ESI Hospital in the country with representative of Stakeholders for monitoring the functioning of the hospitals and to take on the spot decisions for improving the conditions. The Minister said that ESI has also decided to set up its own medical colleges and training institutes for Para-medical staff and nursing staff to overcome the problem of shortage of staff. Besides commissioning up a Super Specialty hospital at Kollam (Kerala), another super specialty hospital is being set up at Hyderabad. These steps were welcomed by the Members.
Underlining Government’s commitment to the welfare of employees, the Labour Minister said that in order to reduce the pendency of prosecution cases against employers and employees, an amnesty scheme is being implemented from the beginning of this year till the year end under which provision has been made that if all the dues are paid along with interest and reduced damages, the cases would be withdrawn. A client’s satisfaction survey and census of covered and uncovered units is also being carried out through independent agencies to have correct feedback and data, the Minister informed.
The Members of Parliament who attended the Meeting are : S/Shri P. Rajendran, Gurudas Dasgupta, Rajnarayan Budholiya, Balihari Babu and Mohammed Amin.