VISAKHAPATNAM : With the Visakhapatnam Port Trust agreeing to extend the land lease agreement, the Central government is all set to build a 300-bed super speciality hospital replacing the existing 100-bed ESI Hospital at Malkapuram in Visakhapatnam. The Union Labour Ministry would issue necessary instructions to the ESI Corporation in this regard, said Union Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya. He also promised to fill the vacant doctor posts and other medical staff at the hospital at the earliest.
Dattatreya, who inspected the ESI Hospital and reviewed the situation with the officials here Sunday, expressed displeasure over its poor maintenance. The VPT gave about 10-acre land on lease for construction of the existing ESI Hospital but after the lease expired a few months ago, the hospital was neglected and the 100-bed hospital has less than 30 in-patients despite the demand. “The Port Trust has agreed to extend the lease period further and the issue will be taken up by the VPT during its board meeting on May 6. We appreciate VPT chairman MT Krishna Babu for taking the initiative,” he added.
Bandaru told the media that there were also proposals from the ESIC to build 100-bed hospitals in Tirupati and Vijayawada. He announced that the Central government would introduce ‘U-Win’ cards for the benefit of about 39 crore workers in the unorganised sector to enable them to get benefits under the Central and state governments’ schemes. Further, the Union Labour Ministry would launch Shrama Suvidha portal to streamline data pertaining to employees’ provident fund.
“An unclaimed amount of `27,000 crore pertaining to EPF claims, is with the Labour Department as several workers are not claiming their funds due to lack of proper awareness. The portal would streamline the EPF transactions,” he said. In all, 4.3 crore workers would be given a universal account number (UIN). Further, the employees would be informed of EPF transactions through SMSes to their mobiles.
The Union Labour Ministry is planning to use technology and strengthen the system for monitoring the implementation of labour laws. Commencing this year, the number of apprentice seats in various PSUs will be increased from 2.8 lakh 25 lakh over a period of time by making amendments to the respective laws. The stipend will also be increased to `5,000 from `2,500.
Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha member K Haribabu, BJP floor leader in the Assembly P Vishnu Kumar Raju, MLA Ganababu and others were present.