Bhubaneswar: While disapproving of the decision to set up ESI medical colleges, Union Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday said the one proposed at Bhubaneswar would be established as it was already decided.
"I am not in favour of ESI medical colleges as ESI is not properly equipped to run such institutions," Tomar told reporters during a visit here.
"However, since it has already been decided, the ESI medical college planned in Bhubaneswar would be set up," he said adding other such colleges for which processes have been initiated would also be established.
No more ESI medical colleges would be set up anywhere in the country, the Minister said terming ESI Corporation's decision to start medical colleges as a mistake.
Stating that ESI hospitals would now be decentralised, Tomar said State Level Committees have been formed which can clear repair and other works involving expenditure of up to Rs 50 lakh without seeking Centre's approval.
Similarly, for ESI hospitals with up to 200 beds, the state level committee was empowered to clear works involving up to Rs 3 crore, while hospitals having more number beds can spend up to Rs 5 crore with state level committee's approval, the minister said.
Tomar said the Centre has fixed a minimum of Rs 1,000 pension for labourers and a sum of Rs 250 crore has been allocated in the 2014-15 Budget for it.
If needed, more funds would be allocated in the supplementary budget, he said.
The EPF limit was raised from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000, he said adding regular health check up would be done for Bidi workers.
The Union Minister said the Apprenticeship Act would be amended to increase seats from existing 4.98 lakh to 23 lakh for training and the Centre would go in big way for labour sector reforms .
The Centre would also consider actively the proposal of the state government to modernism ESI hospitals which would benefit hundreds of workers in unorganised sector.
Stating that factory inspections would be streamlined, he said factory inspectors would be asked to furnished online reports regularly without delay.