Millennium Post

ESIC nurturing nation’s workforce for 63 years

The first set of provisions of the Act was brought into force from 1st September, 1948 and ESI Corporation as the body was established on 1st October, 1948 and was inaugurated on 6th October, 1948.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines Social Security as “the security that society furnishes through appropriate organisation against certain risks to which its members are perennially exposed. These risks are essentially contingencies against which an individual of small means cannot effectively provide by his own ability or foresight alone or even in private combination with his fellows.”

“The mechanics of social security therefore consists in counteracting the blind injustice of nature and economic activities by rational planned justice with a touch of benevolence to temper it.” This definition of ILO clears and centers on provision of support to an individual or to his/her family to protecting them falling into contingent poverty which is that the individual is not otherwise poor but for the contingency. These contingencies as per ILO are sickness, medical care for the worker, maternity, unemployment, work injury, death of worker, invalidity and widowhood.  

The ESI Scheme was inaugurated on 24th February, 1952 by the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at a public meeting in Brijender Swarup Park at Kanpur. In his inaugural address, Pandit Jawahrlal Nehru said that “the Scheme, which I am inaugurating today, is a step in the right direction. However, I would like to add that we should not become complacent. We should not be fearful of any dangers but the situation in this world is that there are wild animals in the guise of human beings whom we have to confront” .

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first honorary Insured Person of ESI Scheme.  The Scheme was simultaneously launched at Kanpur and Delhi with an initial coverage of 25,000 employees. Since then, ESIC has never looked back and never became complacent true to the words of Pandit Jawharlal Nehru and   today, it has become a sort of movement spread across the country with the motto ‘ ESIC- Chinta Se Mukti’  and ‘IP our VIP’. Today, after 63 years, ESI Scheme is supporting millions of insured workers and their immediate dependants to live with dignity and honour.  The uniqueness of ESI Scheme is that it is the only social security organisation in the country which provides multiple benefits to the insured persons and their dependents with a single insurance.

ESI Scheme, like most of the Social Security Schemes the world over, is a self financing health insurance scheme. Contributions are raised from covered employees and their employers as a fixed percentage of wages. The covered employees contribute 1.75% of the wages, whereas, the employers contribute 4.75% of the wages, payable to the Insured Persons. The ESI Scheme covers the broad exigencies related to health, maternity, disablement, death and unemployment.  

It is worthwhile to mention that in the 164th meeting of ESIC held on 18.2.2015, new welfare measures have been approved which includes additional financial assistance for North-Eastern States and Sikkim for medical care under ESI Scheme, enhancement of Permanent Disablement Benefit and Dependants’ Benefit rates to address  the erosion in its real value due to inflation.

Another welfare measure approved is enhancement of the exemption limit for paying employees’ contribution to Rs. 137/- per day from Rs.100/- per day.

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