BMS urges govt to double wage-ceiling threshold for subscription to EPFO, ESIC plans

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New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh on Wednesday urged the government to double the wage-ceiling threshold for mandatory subscription to social security schemes run by retirement body EPFO and Employees' State Insurance Corporation.

Presently, the monthly wage ceiling for the Employees Pension Scheme 1995 run by the EPFO is Rs 15,000, while it is Rs 21,000 for Employees' State Insurance (ESI or health cover) provided by the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).

According to a BMS statement, the current wage ceilings were too low and not in tune with the rise of income and prices.

Further enhancement will also widen the coverage of the schemes to a large section of workers, it pointed out.

A delegation of all India functionaries of BMS led by its President Hiranmay Pandya and General Secretary Ravindra Himte called upon the Minister of Labour & Employment Mansukh Mandaviya and demanded doubling the ceiling of ESI and EPF eligibility, the BMS said.

"The minister responded positively, the ministry would work on the demands...the government is inclined to the cause of workers," BMS said.

BMS leaders also demanded early implementation of the Code on Wages - 2019 and the Code on Social Security 2020.

The Code on Wages will confer for the first time minimum wages up to the last worker in the country. The Code on Social Security provides many social security benefits to the world of work, including 43 crore of unorganised workers.

These two codes are big steps towards the universalisation of labour welfare benefits, the statement said.

The other two codes -- Industrial Relations Code 2020 and Occupational Safety and Health Code 2020 -- contain many anti-worker provisions which need to be changed. The OSH code also advances very much on safety and health concerns of workers but the threshold limit prescribed in the code limits the benefits so provided.

BMS also demanded detailed consultations with all trade unions on labour codes and to implement the codes at the earliest rectifying the defects.

The delegation requested the minister to increase the minimum pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 along with VDA (variable dearness allowance) and link it with Ayushman Bharath Yojana. PTI ABI KKS BAL

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