AITUC questions the “voluntary” contribution of state employees to PM CARES fund

The letter to the MoLE also raises concerns of converting ESCI hospitals into COVID19 centres


The General Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Amarjeet Kaur has written a rather strongly worded letter to the Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) regarding the recent decisions taken by it in the light of the COVID19 outbreak in the country. 

The first grievance is related to Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), which is an autonomous body under MoLE which manages health insurance scheme for state government employees to provide medical and cash benefits to them.

The grievance is against the Ministry’s decision to declare ESIC run hospitals as COVID19 dedicated hospitals leaving Insured Persons (IPs) to look for alternatives like visiting privately run hospitals with whom the Ministry has arranged tie-ups. The letter expresses concern over the hardships faced by IPs while visiting privately run hospitals for treatment, “It is a common experience that the private tie-up hospitals are generally averse to treating the ESIS IPs because the rates paid are as per CGHS rates, which are much less than those charged by the private hospitals and are paid after the relevant bills are raised”.

The letter also states that even ESIC OPDs are turning away IPs thus forcing them to pay for such treatment in private hospitals or clinics despite of being beneficiaries of the insurance scheme. There was also concern over the hasty decision made by Haryana government of converting ESIC hospitals into COVID19 hospitals “without any consultation with the Regional Committee, which is a tri-partite body, with representatives of the Unions, who can give fruitful suggestions to help fight Covid-19, while also protecting the rights of the IPs.”

The letter questions why the government has opted for using all ESIC hospitals instead of taking private hospitals in the loop and using their infrastructure for this purpose. AITUC, through the letter, demands that the Ministry and state government takes meeting with State Regional Committees before high-handedly implementing the Circular dated April 8 regarding alternate provision for secondary/SST treatment to IPs.

The other grievance is about making employees furnish reason for not contributing from their salaries to the PM CARES fund while seemingly making it look voluntary. Terming this circular as being discriminatory and a veiled threat, the AITUC asks a pertinent question, “Why can a person not contribute to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund?”

The Letter may be read here.



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