Social Security Current Affairs - 2020

Enrolments in ESIC Social Security Scheme increases to 821,000

On May 23, 2020, the payroll data of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) was released. The data says that around 821,000 new members have joined ESIC social security scheme.

Highlights

The data was released by National Statistical Office (NSO). According to the data the subscribers to the scheme in 2018-19 were 14.9 million and it increased to 38.3 million in March 2020.

The NSO report issues data of several social security schemes such as PFRDA, EPFO. This is being done since 2018 covering the period 2017-18.

ESIC

The Employment State Insurance Scheme was launched in 1952 under the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. The act was the first legislative social security step for workers in India.

The scheme was designed to help employees fight against their sickness, disablement, maternity and death due to employment.

Recent Developments in the Scheme

In June 2020, the Government of India reduced the rate of contribution under the scheme. The employer contribution was reduced from 4.75% to 3.25% and Employee contribution was reduced from 1.75% to 0.75%. Also, the employees that are earning Rs 137 or less per day are exempted from payment of their contribution.

Recently, to meet the salary bills of the workers during COVID-19 lock down period, the Government of India ruled to appropriate funds of ESIC

EPFO Scheme: Rs 764 crore released to the pensioners

On May 5, 2020, the Employees Provident Fund Organization has released Rs 764 crores to the pensioners.

Highlights

Around 135 field offices of the scheme processed the payment. This has been done in advance to avoid inconvenience of the pensioners during lock down. The bank branches all over the country have been directed to make sure the pension is credited on time.

EPFO

The EPFO is Employment Provident Fund Organization. It was established under the act EPF and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952. The EPFO scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

EPFO Scheme, 1952

It was the first EPFO scheme launched by GoI. It paid the labourers accumulated amount and interest upon death and retirement. It allowed partial withdrawals for marriage, education, house construction and illness.

EPF Scheme 1995

The scheme benefitted disabled survivors that faced accidents during duty, widower and children.

In 2014, Universal Account Number was launched for Employees that benefitted through EPFO. In 2018-19, over 61 new subscribers joined the scheme

Social Security Code Bill, 2019

The bill was introduced in 2019 to reduce employee contribution to Provident Fund. The PF has two components namely Employees part and employers’ part. The employees part currently stands at 12% of the basic salary. The bill intends to provide an option to the employees to reduce their contribution.