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Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is likely to expand its services to over 650 districts of the country as part of its second generation reforms. The corporation has decided to take in its fold all construction workers, ESI Insurance Commissioner Arun Kumar said at a PHDCCI seminar on ESIC. According to a statement, Kumar said that the ESIC is likely to propose charging financial contribution from the employers of construction workers to give them ESI benefits which would be drawn from the various welfare boards in which the construction companies deposit their construction cess. He further said the proposal is being discussed at the higher level of bureaucracy within the Labour Ministry. Elaborating on the issue of second generation reforms in ESIC, Kumar said that currently ESIC has its healthcare and hospital facilities around 300 districts where the workers avail medical and healthcare facilities. These facilities would be extended to all districts of the country and the process of which would begin from March 2017. He also said that ESIC insured women workers would be entitled for 26 weeks of maternity benefits, as against the existing 12 weeks for which the corporation would bear the financial burden instead of employers. Likewise, the wage threshold ceiling of workers for availing ESI benefits is likely to be enhanced to Rs 21,000 per month from the current wage limit of Rs 15,000 per month for which a notification would come about in next few days although intentional notification to this effect has already been issued, the statement said.
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