Tuesday 1 May 2012

May Day Celebrations Electronic Challan-Cum-Return (ECR) Initiative by EPFO Launched

Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge today released a  quarterly news letter “SHRAM SANSAR” on the occasion of  International Labour Day here in Shram Shakti BhwanNew Delhi. The news letter will provide extensive awareness regarding a number of good labour practices and initiatives taken by the Central as well as state governments to all concerned stakeholders on a regular basis. This newsletter is also expected to provide an effective channel of communication between the Government and the Employers/Workers organisations and promote the interest of labour. The V.V.Giri National Labour Institute, Noida has been entrusted with the task of bringing out the Newsletter on behalf of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

                On this  occasion Sh. Mallikarjuna Kharge also formally launched the Electronic Challan-cum-Return (ECR) initiative introduced by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) The ECR brings various services to the doorsteps of employees and employers and introduces new levels of transparency and accessibility in the system. The new system will also substantially improve the efficiency of EPFO in delivering these services.

                The Minister said the launch of the Electronic Challan cum Return brings an opportunity for the employers to file their returns online from anywhere anytime with a click of a mouse.  The hassles of preparing various monthly and annual paper returns and visiting the EPFO Offices for submitting will become things of past.  The exempted establishments also enjoy the same facility as they are also free from those shackles of various paper returns.  EPFO offices are relieved off from manually entering those returns in the system to update the information and making several communications in case of mistakes or deficiencies in the paper returns.  The on line returns are uploaded in the system to update the information automatically

On this occasion Shri Kharge said his Ministry has taken several important initiatives to promote the welfare of the Workers through enactment and implementation of various labour Laws. The endeavour of the Ministry has been to create a work environment conducive to achieving a high rate of economic growth with due regard to protecting and safeguarding the interest of the workers. Realizing the demographic dividend for India it is necessary to create ample employment opportunities for the Young labour force. For this purpose the Ministry of Labour and Employment is developing and coordinating vocational skill training and employment services. The social security needs of the Unorganisedsector workers are being addressed through the “Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana” which has received international acclaim.

Following are the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Labour & Employment:
1.                   Rashtriya Swasth Bima Yojana  
·                     Rashtriya Swasth Bima Yojana has been extended toconstruction workers, street vendors, railway porters & vendors, MGNREGA workers, domestic workers and beedi workers.
·                     The scheme envisages provision of issuance of smart cards to the beneficiaries to facilitate cashless transaction upto Rs.30,000/-.
·                     As on today, more than 2.89 crore cards have been issued.
2.                   Social Security

·                     The first phase of Computerization Plan of Employees Provident Fund Organization has been implemented with the help of NIC. After implementation the next phase it would enable the members to have portability of their account and the services of “any time anywhere” on real time basis. With the launching of the Electronic Challan-cum-Return (ECR) today, the efficiency of EPFO in delivering its services will further improve.
·                     The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has taken new initiatives to improve the delivery of service under the ESI Scheme. New geographical areas are also being covered.
·                     The number of Insured Persons (IP) at the end of March, 2012 has touched 1.55 crore while the number of beneficiaries has reached 6 .02 crore.

·                     At present, there are 150 hospitals of which 33 are run by the ESIC and the rest by the State Governments. We are constantly trying to improve the condition of the Hospitals.

·                     Medical Bonus has been enhanced from Rs.2500/- per month to Rs.3500/-per month w.e.f. 19.12.2011 under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1970.

1.                   Child Labour
·                     The honorarium of National Child Labour Project teachers and stipend to the students was increased this year.
·                     Due to our persistent efforts there was a 45% decline in child labour from 90.75 lakh in 2004-05 to 49.84 lakh in 2009-10 as per the data provided by the National Sample Survey organization (NSSO).

2.                   Directorate General of Employment & Training
·                     The Government has been making sincere efforts for skill development of a large number of people under various skill development programmes. We are systematically working to achieve the target and I am happy to inform that we have already increased the training capacity three times from 9lakh in 2006-07 to 26 lakh in 2011-12.

·                     All the Government ITIs are being modernized. New courses have been introduced and most of the ITIs are running in two to three shifts.  In the last five years, we have increased the number of Govt. and private ITIs from 5114 in 2006-07 to 9447 in 2011-12 which is almost double.
·                     Skill Development Initiative (SDI) Scheme based on Modular Employable Skills (MES) was started during the Eleventh Five Year Plan for early school leavers and existing workers, especially in the unorganised sector to improve their employability. About 13.7 lakh persons have been trained under the scheme so far.

·                     Government has also decided to start   Kaushal Vikas Yojanato set up 1500 new ITIs and 5000 Skill Development Centres in PPP mode at a cost of Rs.5205 crore. It has also been decided to set up 15 Advanced Training Institutes and  12 Regional Vocational Training Institutes at a cost of Rs.609 croreto solve the problem of shortage of trainers.

·                     National-e-Governance Plan has identified upgradation and modernization of Employment Exchanges as one of the Mission Mode Projects (MMP). The MMP aims to progressively support all Employment Exchanges in the country to make effective use of IT in various activities of employment services. Under the project, a national web portal will be developed which will work like a virtual job market.

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