Centre wants social security for more northeast people

Guwahati, June 30 (IANS) The central government wants social security schemes like EPF and ESIC to cover more and more people in the northeastern region, Union Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said here on Tuesday.

Dattatreya said this to the media after holding a regional conference of all the labour ministers of the northeastern states in Guwahati.

While schemes like Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will be extended to more areas of the region, employment exchanges in some of the states will be converted into “model career counselling centres” for the benefit of job-seekers, he said.

“We want to open five EPF offices in the region, one each at Gangtok, Imphal, Itanagar, Dimapur and in Aizawl so as to cover more people in the schemes,” Dattatreya said.

“I have requested the state governments to provide us 10,000 square metres of area to set up offices in the states.”

The minister said the central government also wants to upgrade the 50-bedded ESIC hospital in Guwahati to a 100-bedded one and work on it will start soon.

“The coverage of ESIC facilities will also be extended to Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. We will ask the state governments in these states to survey the number of workers in the organised and the unorganised sectors and ensure that there are more numbers of insured people in these states,” he said.

“While the employment exchange in Assam will be converted into a model career counselling centre, another such centre would be set up in Meghalaya capital Shillong.”

The government will also set up a vocational training centre in Tripura, he said.

The central government will consider setting up career counselling centres in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim if there are proposals from the states, he added.

–Indo-Asian news Service

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