Govt mulls health insurance cover for weavers under ESIC

New Delhi: The government is considering a proposal to bring handloom and powerloom weavers under the health insurance scheme of Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).

The move will provide health insurance cover and facilities through ESIC to around one crore weavers. Besides, it would also cover around three crore dependents of the weavers insured under the scheme.

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had assured a Member of Parliament and weavers at a public function that the government will evaluate the proposal to include handloom and powerloom weavers under the ESIC scheme.

Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu has asked the minister to expedite the proposal.

"I pray for your expeditious consideration to extend the ESI coverage to weavers of both handloom and power loom, unorganised individuals and societies and master weavers...," Rapolu said in the letter to the labour minister.

At present, there are over two crore insured persons covered under the ESI scheme.

The scheme covers a population of around 8 crore including the insured persons and their dependents. The medical care under the ESI scheme entails primary, secondary and tertiary medical care with no cap on individual expenditure.

The contributions under the ESI scheme are related to the paying capacity as a fixed percentage of the workers' wages, whereas, they are provided social security benefits according to individual needs without distinction.  

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