Following are the salient features of the initiatives taken by the Unnion Ministry of Labour & Employment during the year 2011:
1. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)
RSBY is a flagship programme of the Government that provides health insurance to unorganized workers to avail smart card based cashless hospitalization facilities upto Rs.30,000/-. In view of the success of the scheme, RSBY has now been extended to the additional categories of workers, viz.
Building and other construction workers registered with the welfare boards;
Licensed railway porters and vendors;
MGNREGA workers who have worked for more than 15 days during the preceding year;
2. Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)
The ESIC administers the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 for providing health care and cash benefit payments in case of sickness, maternity and employment injury.
The eligibility conditions for availing the unemployment allowance under Rajiv Gandhi ShramikKalyanYojana relaxed from 5 years to 3 years. The duration of benefit enhanced from 6 months to 12 months. A skill upgradation scheme introduced for the unemployed insured persons who undergo Vocational Training in Centres run by Government to upgrade their skills. ESIC institutions are being upgraded under Employees’ State Insurance Corporation’s IT Project “Panchdeep” and all ESI institutions are being networked under this Project.
3. Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO)
The EPFO administers the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 to provide social security and timely monetary assistance to industrial employees and their families when they are in distress.
4.Expansion of Training Infrastructure:
ITIs are growing with an average rate of 10% every year during last five years.
The Central Government, with the help of State Governments, has launched two major Schemes for upgradation of all the existing Government Industrial Training Institutes in the country.
100 ITIs have been upgraded into Centres of Excellence through domestic funding at a cost of Rs 160 crore and other 400 ITIs are being upgraded under the Vocational Training Improvement Project assisted by World Bank at a cost of about Rs 1581 crore.
Skill Development Initiative (SDI) Scheme: The scheme is based on Modular Employable Skills (MES) framework to provide vocational training for early school leavers and existing workers, especially in the unorganized sector to improve their employability.
A new scheme on ‘Enhancing Skill Development in North-East States and Sikkim’ has been approved
A scheme on ‘Skill Development in 34 districts affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE)’ with an outlay of Rs.232.95 crore for setting up of ITIs and SDCs has been approved and the concerned State Governments have been asked to submit their proposals.
A scheme titled ‘Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ for setting up of 1500 ITIs and 5000 SDCs in Public Private Partnership in unserviced blocks has also been prepared and is under process of approval
5. Child Labour and the National Child Labour Project (NCLP)
In pursuance of Government commitment to eliminate child labour in hazardous areas, the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme has been extended to cover 271 districts (which includes 21 districts under INDUS Project).The project provides for withdrawal of child labour from work and admitting them into special schools where they are provided with bridging education, vocational training, mid-day meal, stipend, health care facilities etc. A
6. Occupational Safety and Health
Steps have been taken to re-organize and strengthen the Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) with creation of three posts of Deputy Director General of Mines Safety, two new zones at Bangaluru and Udaipur and six new regions at Raigarh, Gwalior, Varanasi, Ahmedabad, Surat and Bangaluru. The Government declared the National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at work place on 20th February, 2009 and circulated to all Central Government Ministries/ Departments and State Governments.
National Floor Level Minimum Wage: In order to have a uniform wage structure and to reduce the disparity in minimum wages across the country, the National Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMW) has been revised from time to time primarily taking into account the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers. The NFLMW which was fixed at Rs.80/- on 01.09.2007 was revised to Rs.100/- on 01.11.2009 and Rs.115/- on 01.04.2011. The National Floor Level Minimum Wage applies to all employments including agriculture.
. Since the NFLMW is a non-statutory measure, the State Governments have been requested to fix/revise minimum wages in such a way that in none of the scheduled employments the minimum wage is less than NFLMW.
Wage Boards: The Majithia Wage Boards for Newspaper Employees submitted their report on 31st December, 2010. The recommendations of the Wage Board for revision of salaries of journalists and non-journalists in newspaper establishments and news agencies as accepted by the Government have been notified on 11.11.2011.