Tripartite Consultation held on Amendments to Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act,1948
Shri Bandaru Dattatreya Chairs Tripartite Meeting
Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (I/C), Labour & Employment has asked the Employee Associations to bring out concrete suggestions and solutions to improve the health insurance services to workers. Responding to views expressed by participants on amendments to Employees’ State Insurance(ESI) Act,1948, he assured to convene a separate meeting shortly to discuss such suggestions. He was chairing the tripartite meeting on the proposed amendments to ESI Act,1948, held yesterday.
The Employees Organizations expressed reservation on the proposal while the Employer’s side welcomed it. Some participants expressed their reservations on quality and quantum of services to be made available by the Insurance Companies and expressed need to improve the service being provided by the ESIC. It was generally agreed that at present, there was no insurance product at par with the ESIC services and if any such product is brought forth by any organization, that may be brought before the ESIC first.
The ESI Act, 1948 is mandatory piece of legislation for the employees of the organized sector falling under the ambit of ESI Act. The ESI Scheme is a self-financing Scheme where funds are generated by means of contribution from the covered employees and employer.
The main proposal for amendments in the Employees’ State Insurance Act,1948 is to add enabling provisions in the existing ESI Act,1948 so as to provide an option to workers to choose any Health Insurance Product, recognized by the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority(IRDA) in place of benefits being provided under ESI Act. Proposed amendments also provide one time option to workers to return to ESI fold.
The representatives of prominent trade unions like BMS, CITU, AITUC, INTUC, BMC, AICCTU, HMS, AIUTUC,LPF and TUCC attended the meeting. Representatives of important employers’ associations like FICCI, CII, SCOPE, LUB, FASSI, AIMO, CIE, PHDCCI, etc. attended the consultations. Officers from Ministry of Labour & Employment, State Governments, other Ministries of Central Government and ESIC were also participated during consultation.