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Centre to celebrate Vishwakarma Day on September 17, promises increase in minimum wages

The Union ministry of labour and employment will celebrate September 17 as ‘Vishwakarma Dinotsav’ in commemoration of Vishwakarma.

Published: 09th September 2016 06:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2016 06:46 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: The Union ministry of labour and employment will celebrate September 17 as ‘Vishwakarma Dinotsav’ in commemoration of Vishwakarma and to honour the role of handicrafts men, toolmen, labourers and industrialists, Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya said here on Thursday.

On the eve of the Vishwakarma Dinotsav (on September 16), the best workmen and industrialists would be given awards in New Delhi, the minister told mediapersons.

“On Vishwakarma Day, threeissues — minimum wage of `10,500, revision of Maternity Benefit Act and revision of Bonus Act — will be given emphasis to bring about awareness among the workmen,” he said.

The decision to raise the wages or salary limit for joining as member of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) from the present `15,000 per month to `21,000 will benefit more than 65 lakh labourers and employees, he said.

“Right now there are about 2.2 crore members and eight crore beneficiaries under ESIC purview. Raising the monthly wage threshold from `15,000 to `21,000, will bring in more than 65 lakh labourers and employees under ESIC purview. While there are about 8 crore beneficiaries under ESIC now, the number will cross 10 crore, by raising the salary limit needed to become members of ESIC,” Dattatreya said.

Stating that the new rules will come into effect from October 1, Dattatreya urged employers, labour unions and public representatives to give wide publicity to the new initiative in order to convince more employees come under the fold of the ESIC.

“Our aim is to ensure that minimum wages, health insurance and social security are provided to all the labourers and employees in the country across all sectors. Bonus Amendment Act, provision of minimum wages to agriculture workers, increasing unemployment allowance to workers under Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana, among other initiatives are being taken with the motive of providing financial and social security to workers and labourers,” Dattatreya further said.

The Union minister also emphasised on the fact that that ESIC benefits would also be provided to Anganwadi, Asha and Mid-day meal workers.

“We have already formed a special committee with representatives from ministries of women and child development, human resources development, labour and health to prepare guidelines and take steps to include Anganwadi, Asha and Mid-day meal workers under ESIC. This initiative will be taken up within tthe next three months and it will benefit more than 85 lakh workers who are mostly women,” he added.

The Union minister also announced setting up Employee’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) sub divisional offices at Khammam, Vijayawada and Kurnool on the occasion.

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