“Now it has been decided to extend relaxation in eligibility conditions in the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana for period January 01, 2021 to June 30, 2021 with the same terms and conditions as notified earlier,” the Employees State Insurance Corporation, which is the implementing agency for the scheme, said.
ESIC has sought suggestions from all stakeholders on the draft notification over the next 30 days following which the proposal will be notified.
A decision to further extend the relaxed benefits was taken at an ESIC meeting last year. Under the relaxed scheme, unemployment benefit of the order of 50% of the wages under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana will be given as against 25% earlier. This would be the average per day earning of a worker over the last 90 days and the benefits will be available to insured workers who became unemployed due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
While the scheme was extended by the government for a year till June 30, 2021, the relaxed benefits under the scheme were available till December 31, 2020.
The ESIC estimates that the relaxed provisions of the scheme will benefit 41,94,176 subscribers who are eligible under the revised criteria and would cost ESIC Rs Rs 6710.67 crore.
ESIC data shows contribution under the scheme was neither filed nor paid for 80,43,305 subscribers during April and May while another 81,95,765 were the total number of people who exited the scheme during the contribution period ending March 2020.
However, only 30,32,821 insured persons (IPs) whose contributions have not been made in the lockdown period are eligible for the scheme while 11,61,355 IPs eligible for the scheme are among those who have not contributed till March 2020.
The ESIC Act now applies to more than 1.21 million factories and establishments across the country, benefiting about 34.9 million family units of workers. The total beneficiary population of ESI scheme stands at more than 135.6 million.