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New Delhi: The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) on Friday announced that Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana has been extended to June 30, 2022.

Under this scheme, unemployment benefits are provided to industrial workers. The benefit period expired on 30 June and the fresh extension of the timeline will be valid retrospectively from 1 July 2021 till 30 June 2022.

This is a scheme for unemployment allowance paid at 50 percent of wages for 3 months to those insured persons who lose their jobs for any reason. The insured person can submit a claim directly to an ESIC branch office instead of the claim being forwarded by the last employer with the payment made directly to the subscriber’s bank account. Since the outbreak of covid-19, more than 50,000 people have benefited from this scheme.

The decision was taken at the board meeting of the ESIC, one of the two largest social security bodies under the labour ministry. “This will be beneficial to ESIC subscribers who lose jobs. But there is a strong belief that the number of workers getting retrenched during the covid-19 period is not being reported transparently and the ESIC need to step up here,” said Amarjeet Kaur, a board member of the ESIC.

The 185th meeting of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation saw a slew of important decisions announced by the Union Minister for Labour and Employment, Bhupender Yadav. The Minister announced approval of 5-acre land parcels for acquisition to set up new 100 bedded ESIC hospitals at Haroholli and Narsapur in Karnataka, seven new ESIC dispensaries for Kerala among other things.

During the meeting, it was also decided that wherever in-house facilities are not available in ESIC hospitals, patients would be referred to empaneled private medical service providers and furthermore, wherever any ESI facility is at a distance of more than 10 kms from the IP, patients can directly approach the empaneled hospitals for treatment.

One 30 bedded hospital was also approved for Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh and a dedicated earmarked fund was also accorded approval to provide for long-term liabilities for the ESIC COVID relief scheme. It was also decided that the ESIC Dental College working from temporary structures at Rohini, in Delhi would be shifted to new building at the ESIC Hospital Basai Dara Pur campus.

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