Government May Relax Eligibility Criteria For Availing Unemployment Allowances

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New Delhi: The government is considering to  ease the eligibility criteria for availing unemployment benefits under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation scheme (ESIC). Also, government may hike the amount of benefit to 50 per cent of last drawn salary and double the support tenure to six months.
Besides, the Labour Ministry is also planning to remove the provision that states the benefit can be availed only once in a lifetime and increase the period of benefit. The suggestions, which will be presented before the ESIC members meeting on August 20, can help more than 3.2 crore ESIC subscribers should they become jobless.
According to the source, the proposal has the support of the Prime Minister’s Office, which had asked for some changes in the existing condition to benefit a majority of people in the event of job losses, similar to unemployment grant in other countries.
“The proposal has been presented to the PMO last week and will now be tabled in the upcoming Corporation meeting next week,” the financial daily quoted an unnamed official as saying on condition of anonymity.
What is Proposal?
The proposal is to hike the insured amount to 50% of the last drawn salary, increase the period of benefit to six months from three months, cut the minimum work requirement to 78 days and allow many withdrawals under the scheme subject to certain conditions.
Under the Atal Beema Vyakti Kalyan Yojana of ESIC, the Centre gives 25 per cent of the monthly salary as unemployment benefit for three months. However, this could help only those workers who have been an ESIC subscriber for minimum least two years. At present, the unemployment benefit can be availed only once in the lifetime work period by the ESIC subscribers.
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