ANDHRA PRADESH

Bill to better lot of unorganised workers

HYDERABAD Jan. 25. The Government proposes to introduce a bill aimed at improving the lot of the unorganised workers in the State. It wants to constitute boards for this purpose on the lines of those functioning in Kerala, the Labour Minister, P. Babu Mohan, told a press conference here on Saturday. A survey was on to identify the number of unorganised workers in the State.

He said the Government would initially set up four or five boards and others would follow in a phased manner. The places where the boards would be set up were yet to be identified. After the board were constituted, the unorganised workers would be covered by the Employees State Insurance Corporation.

The Minister said prior to finalising the bill the Government would hold discussions with representatives of trade unions, leaders of labour organisations and political parties. Their suggestions would be incorporated in the bill. After finalising the bill it would be sent to the Central Government.

Referring to the just-concluded visit of the high-power committee of the ESI Corporation in the State from January 19 to 24, Mr. Babu Mohan said it was of the opinion that ESI hospitals were working better than those elsewhere in the country.

The Minister, who released a booklet on the ESI Scheme in the State, said the State Government was suggesting to the committee to double the expenditure limit of Rs. 600 to each beneficiary as was the case in some of the States.

Ajay Dua, Director-General, ESI Corporation, who was present, said the committee would discuss its proposals with State Government officials.

The committee felt that the medicare in the hospitals at Adoni, Tirupati and Nizamabad needed to be restructured.