The Union government is planning to give unemployment benefits to a section of organised workers who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This will be along the lines of measures taken by some countries such as the United States to combat the impact of the pandemic, also known as COVID-19, on the working population.
The government’s ‘Atal Beema Vyakti Kalyan Yojana’ scheme, which provides unemployment insurance to workers subscribed to the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) scheme, will cover such workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The ESI is a self-financing health insurance scheme for formal sector workers in India managed by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
Under the scheme, which has been operational since July 2018, workers who become unemployed get compensation in the form of cash up to 3 months of unemployment. But the workers can avail this benefit only once in their lifetime. “The labour and employment ministry is looking to extend the scheme and allow workers to avail the unemployment insurance benefit if they are impacted due to the coronavirus,” a senior government official said, requesting anonymity.
Workers get cash to the tune of