Govt planning comprehensive social security cover for workers
New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Oscar Fernandes today said the government is planning a comprehensive legislation to extend social security cover to all workers.
Inaugurating the three-day, 14th Regional Conference of International Social Security Association (ISSA) for Asia and Pacific Region here, Mr Fernandes said, ''our focus is on informal sector as today, for every ten jobs, seven jobs are created in the informal sector.'' Referring to the organised sector, he said the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) provides medical care to 35 million beneficiaries with no upper cap on cost irrespective of the quantum of contribution paid by a member, he said.
The Minister said the fundamental duty of the civil society is to ensure a universal, non-discriminatory, equitable and reliable health care system.
He said the main challenge is how to ensure easy accessibility to quality medical care, both in terms of costs and geographical distance.
Mr Fernandes said the meet will help the government evolve various financial alternatives to ensure long-term sustainability of health care system.
Earlier, ISSA President Ms Corazon De La Paz said the agenda of the conference reflects the urgency of addressing various issues concerning social security.
She said an overriding concern in the health care system is an increase in expenditure while contributions remain static.
The ISSA President said the investment of pension reserve funds has a direct bearing on financial sustainability of social security programmes and potential benefit levels of its members. On providing social security to migrant workers, she said the issue is of great concern to various countries, including India and the Philippines, to which she belongs. She said that 20 million workers from India and 10 million workers from the Philippines are working outside their country.
The meet is being attended by more than 180 delegates from 40 countries from the Asia and Pacific region.
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